Stalling climate talks need financial stimulus | WWF

Stalling climate talks need financial stimulus

Posted on
06 April 2009
Bonn, April 6 – After one week of slow UN climate talks in Bonn, WWF is calling for a financial stimulus to keep the negotiations on track to achieving new global climate treaty due in December.

According to the global conservation organization, a recovery package with funding for emission reduction efforts and urgent adaptation measures in developing countries could end the stalemate between nations attending the talks.

“If the UN climate talks were a bank in trouble, the billions would probably be pouring in already”, says Kim Carstensen, Leader of WWF’s Global Climate Initiative. “But even though the negotiations are getting close to bankruptcy, the money needed to finance a new global deal is not forthcoming. To ensure success in Copenhagen, we need a climate recovery package now.”

In WWF’s view, the deadlock in Bonn demands an immediate gesture by the developed world: adaptation money for immediate use, plus a commitment to serious long-term funding at an adequate scale as part of the new global deal. In the light of the more than one trillion US Dollar recovery pledges made by the G20 last week, the amounts involved to deal with the much more serious climate change problem are clearly feasible

According to WWF calculations, each industrialized country would have to commit to a share of the total amount of €145 billion ($US 196 billion) that is needed annually by 2020 to fund adaptation and mitigation in developing countries. This amount consists of €100 billion ($US 135 billion) for mitigation – including measures to reduce emissions from deforestation and degradation –plus €40 billion ($US 54 billion) and €5 billion for an insurance and risk mechanism.

“Governments have their hands deep in their pockets now, and that’s an opportunity and principally good news”, says Carstensen. “But, and here comes the bad news, the same governments are not yet investing this money in protecting jobs as well as the climate and supporting the UN talks at the same time. Serious money for immediate adaptation action in most vulnerable countries would be a good first step.”

According to WWF immediate Northern funding pledges for Southern climate action would be a promising way to break the deadlock on the core issue of emissions reductions targets, particularly for industrialised countries.

“The industrialized countries have depressed Bonn with their micro moves at micro level in the debate about emission cuts, while developing countries in the Micronesia region are seeking cuts of more than 45% by 2020”, says Carstensen.

“The gap between what rich countries find politically feasible and what poor countries demand to ensure their survival is widening. Putting cash on the table to directly help vulnerable countries could reverse the trend, restoring trust among parties and bringing fresh dynamics to the talks.”

WWF points out that the over-exploitation of fossil fuels - such as coal, gas and oil - is putting the whole of humanity under threat from climate change.