BASIC group urges rich to stump up cash for climate

Brazil, South Africa, China and India say developed nations must meet their financial commitments 

BASIC group officials with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the 2013 Warsaw climate summit (Pic: UN Photos)

BASIC group officials with UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon at the 2013 Warsaw climate summit (Pic: UN Photos)

By Ed King

India, China, Brazil and South Africa say rich countries must find just under US$8 billion by November to boost the coffers of the UN’s green fund.

In a statement ministers issued after a two-day meeting in Sun City, South Africa, ministers from the BASIC group said there was “momentum” behind progress towards a climate deal, but more money was needed.

So far US$2.3 billion has been pledged towards the Green Climate Fund, well short of the $10bn its director says it needs to start operations in 2015.

“They stressed the need for clearer indications from developed countries on meeting their commitment to provide US$100 billion in climate finance per year by 2020, and meaningful and substantial contributions to the Green Climate Fund,” the statement said.

Any commitments from developing countries towards a proposed 2015 UN climate deal needed to be linked to “the scale of finance, technology and capacity-building support required by them for implementation”.

Filling the UN’s GCF is seen as a critical step towards the development of a global emissions reduction agreement, scheduled to be signed off in Paris next December.

(Pic: Oxfam)

(Pic: Oxfam)

Poorer countries say they need financial help to ditch fossil fuels and invest in low carbon infrastructure.

France and Germany have each offered $1 billion to the GCF, with smaller amounts pledges by Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, South Korea and Mexico.

On Friday Peru’s foreign minister Gonzalo Gutierrez said US secretary of state John Kerry had hinted Washington would also contribute.

“He (Kerry) says that the U.S. is considering seriously to make a significant announcement even before the Lima conference, probably next month,” Reuters quoted him as saying.

According to Oxfam the US should offer an initial US$4.8 bn to the GCF, based on the size of its economy and historical carbon emissions.

“We fully expect the Obama administration to make a meaningful pledge and protect America’s role as a leader in the effort to fight climate change,” said Heather Coleman, Climate Change program manager for Oxfam America.

UK secretary of state Ed Davey told RTCC London was also preparing a contribution and would release more details after a GCF board meeting in Barbados next week.

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