US finance for poorest a great stride forward

The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s announcement at Copenhagen today that the US will agree to $100bn per year for the poorest nations will help break the deadlock at the climate talks.

Caritas England and Wales (CAFOD) Head of Climate Finance,Liz Gallagher representing Caritas and its sister network CIDSE in Copenhagen.

She said: “Finally the big freeze in Copenhagen is beginning to thaw. We had high expectations of what America could bring to the process, but fears that the reality would fall way short. This money on the table shows strong political will and opens the door to a good deal.

“But it is still not enough to ensure the poorest are guaranteed protection from the worst impacts of climate change. We need clarity on what is public finance and whether this finance will be in addition to existing aid targets. Hillary Clinton also needs to explain how, and through which institutions, the money will be delivered. But with fewer than 48 hours until the end of these talks, this injection of much-needed commitment brings the negotiations back on track.”

The $100bn figure is conditional to the UN reaching an ambitious deal in which major economies agree to meaningful, transparent mitigation actions. This finance announcement was in line with Gordon Brown’s speech this morning at the Bella Centre in Copenhagen. But the UK prime minister went further on the details in his proposal including a pledge of additionality which is vital to the future of the world’s poorest nations.

Following these positive developments at the summit, tonight’s meeting of EU heads of state will face high expectations. The European bloc must raise its ambition and commit to a unilateral offer of emissions targets above 30% and ensure this figure is watertight.

Gallagher added: “It’s time for the developed nations to step up to the plate. America and the UK have revealed their hand, now others must follow their lead.”

For further information:

Pascale Palmer at Copenhagen +44 7785 950 585

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Filed under Advocacy, Climate Change, Denmark, Europe, Food, North America, United States

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