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300 billion dollars a year for climate change adaptation and mitigation says UNFCCC Executive Secretary

Bonn, 17 August 2009 - With 110 days left until the Copenhagen Climate Conference, only "limited progress" was made at the most recent United Nations climate change talks where financing to cut and cope with climate change proved to be a major sticking point among negotiators.

Speaking at the meeting which concluded on Friday, Yvo de Boer, head of the UN Climate Change Secretariat said; "The world will need a phenomenal amount of money to change its energy supply from fossil fuels to cleaner sources and to adapt to climate change."

De Boer estimates the annual cost of climate change adaptation at US$100 billion per year. This is the amount needed to cope with natural disasters such as flooding and drought that will result from increased warming. Meanwhile, he pegs the cost of cutting global emissions at US$200 billion annually.

Currently, the draft text contains 200 brackets indicating points of disagreement between negotiators, who differ on who should bear the financial burden of the climate change challenge.

Nevertheless, De Boer stressed that a U.N. climate pact to be agreed upon in Copenhagen should set up a fair mechanism for raising long-term funds, rather than compel countries to contribute specific amount. "A robust burden-sharing formula is the most important thing."

De Boer also recommended that countries participating in the Copenhagen Conference, open negotiations with some cash on the table, perhaps US$10 billion.

At the G8 Summit in July, UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner noted that a successful Copenhagen Summit depended on the political will of world leaders to make good on their Green Economy pledges which entails investing heavily in renewable energies and energy efficiency.

In the run-up to the Copenhagen meeting, two more rounds of UN climate talks will be held; one in Bangkok, Thailand from 28 September - 9 October and another in Barcelona, Spain from 2-6 November.

UNFCCC Executive Sevretary, Yvo de Boer



Further Resources

Final Briefing of UNFCCC Secretariat - podcast

UNEP: Finance Initiative

SEFI Global Trends Report

UN Environment Head says World at Green Economy Crossroads on Eve of G8 Summit - Press Release


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