Caricom voices its concern over climate change fund 2009-11-29 16:25:29   Print

    PORT OF SPAIN, Nov. 28 (Xinhua) -- The 15-nation Caribbean Community (Caricom) remained concerned over the climate change fund in the next three years, said Bharrat Jagdeo, head of Caricom's economic task force, on Saturday.

    Britain and France have proposed the creation of an environmental fund, called Copenhagen Launch Fund, totalling 30 billion dollars that will be evenly spent during the years of 2010, 2011 and 2012. The fund is expected to help boost developing countries' efforts to tackle climate change.

    However, Bharrat Jagdeo, also president of Guyana, said at a press conference on the second day of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) that there was still a shortage of capital needed to deal with climate change by 2020.

    "We would like to see this 10 billion dollars as interim financing for climate change," Jagdeo said. "The World Bank estimates it needs between 75 billion and 80 billion per annum."

    According to a report published by World Bank economist Nicholas Stern, 1 percent of the world's gross domestic product (GDP), or around 300 billion dollars, is needed by 2020 to hold carbon dioxide concentration below 450 parts per million (PPM) in the atmosphere. If carbon dioxide concentration goes beyond this limit, world temperature could rise beyond two degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, a level scientists identified as a tipping point.

    "The European Union is talking about 100 billion euros by 2020 and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is talking about 100 million dollars by 2020. But 10 billion is all the money that is on the table right now." Jagdeo added.

    He also said that emerging nations wanted to see that the climate change funds could be delivered according to new systems, as the existing international financial institutions was disappointing.

    "Some countries are looking for a new global institution. Others are saying that there should be a reform of the World Bank.Some think there should be a board reporting to the United Nations," Jagdeo said. Those countries are all worried the climate change money will not be disbursed quickly enough under the current frameworks.

    Jagdeo welcomed the recent commitments of China and the United States, but he also said that the U.S. commitment did not go far enough.

    Earlier this week, U.S. President Barack Obama made an offer to reduce U.S. emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Jagdeo said this represents a 2-percent cut from 1990 levels, while scientists say the world needs to cut 25 percent emissions from 1990 levels.

    China has pledged to cut "carbon intensity," a measure of carbon dioxide emissions per unit of production, by 40 to 45 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

    The CHOGM brought together 51 senior representatives from member nations, most of which were former British colonies, and a total of 5,000 delegates to Port of Spain.

    The meeting was convened to tackle a series of issues, but turned out to be dominated by climate change with the arrival of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Danish President Lars Lokke Rasmussen and French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

Editor: Deng Shasha
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