Clinton: U.S. will aid $100 billion annual fund for climate change

Secretary Clinton in Copenhagen today. Photo: Jeff McMahon

Secretary Clinton in Copenhagen today. Photo: Jeff McMahon

COPENHAGEN–Secretary of State Hillary Clinton swooped into deadlocked negotiations here today and announced the U.S. will contribute to a long-term fund–$100 billion by 2020–to help developing nations transition to cleaner energy.

The funding will come from a variety of sources, she said, public and private, and would be spent with a special emphasis on forestry and adaptation in “the nations that are most vulnerable and least prepared.”

Clinton did not specify the amount of the U.S. contribution and said it’s more important, at this stage, to make the commitment than to specify the funding sources. The funding depends upon “a good agreement,” she said, that includes verifiable emissions reductions by developing countries.

The figure is in line with the more modest proposals already made by the European Union, Japan, and other developed nations.

Asked about the slow progress of the negotiations, Clinton said all of the major parties have already agreed.

“Time and time again the various parties have agreed to the standards we are seeking, including transparency,” she said, referring to Chinese and Indian objections to international oversight of domestic efforts to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions.

“There have been numerous instances in the past year where parties have agreed to the standards we are seeking,” she repeated, listing the series of summits that preceded these talks.

Clinton expressed optimism that the talks, which reportedly have been deadlocked between the U.S. and China, can proceed:

“There is a way forward based on a number of core elements: decisive national actions, an operational accord that internationalizes those actions, assistance for nations that are the most vulnerable and least prepared to meet the effects of climate change, and standards of transparency that provide credibility to the entire process. The world community should accept no less.”

Asked about a rumor that President Obama may not come to the talks tomorrow, as planned, Clinton said:

“The president is planning to come tomorrow. Obviously we hope there will be something to come for.”

Previous post:

Next post: