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UN: Rich Must Pay for Climate Change


2nd March, 2007

Aid to countries such as Bangladesh and the Sahel region must double if rich nations want to curb global climate change the United Nations top development official has said.

‘If donors are not willing to think in these orders of magnitude, I am pessimistic,’ said Kemal Dervis, head of the UN Development Programme. He added that the $100bn in financial assistance to ‘developing countries’ would need to increase each year by 50 to 100 per cent.

His comments come as Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, contemplates options for a global summit to tackle climate change. UN officials said several plans were on the table but details were not yet decided.

‘A very big global deal has to be made,’ said Mr Dervis, adding that coming to terms would require facing difficult questions over ‘who pays the costs and who gets the benefits’. He likened the coming debate to global negotiations on trade quotas and tariffs.

He claimed the situation was further complicated by the fact that those countries that would be worse affected, such as Bangladesh, contribute little to global emissions so could not benefit financially from the rich countries favourite market mechanism of carbon trading.

The UNDP's next Human Development Report, to be released in November ahead of UN climate talks this December in Bali, will focus on the economics of climate change.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist March 2007


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