The UN said today the world’s richest nations would make a pledge of $100 billion a year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions.
The commitment, which needs a solid endorsement by the 192 nations attending next week’s G8 summit in Northern Ireland, marks a major step in the ongoing and contentious negotiations about climate aid to developing countries.
Last year, developed nations pledged to provide $10 billion over the next two years to the Green Climate Fund. This year’s commitment is intended to rise to $100 billion, according to a proposal by environment ministers and negotiators reached in Durban, South Africa, in December. The conference did not set a specific date, but a U.S. administration official said today the G8 should authorize the funds and make a funding commitment at its summit in May.
“If these funds don’t come in, if we have no global agreement in Durban, people will start to question whether we are really moving forward on adaptation, on clean energy, on our debt levels and on biodiversity loss,” said Hannes Rummel, European Union vice president and commissioner for climate action.
But the road is far from smooth. Some developing countries question how much money developed nations will provide. Many developed nations also have their own arguments about how much money is needed.
“The goal of the agreement should be to support developing countries to effectively control their emissions and to do so together, on the basis of equitable and fair solutions,” said South Africa’s environment minister, Edna Molewa.