Poor nations need to join global climate fund: Mexico

BANGKOK Wed Oct 7, 2009 8:48am EDT

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Poor nations demanding a slice of rich countries' GDP to fight climate change is a waste of time, and the fairest method would be a global fund to which all major emitting nations would contribute, Mexico said on Wednesday.

Mexico has proposed the creation of a green fund based on nations' historical and current greenhouse gas emissions, GDP and population as a way to unlock potentially hundreds of billions of dollars in annual spending.

Developing countries could receive financing to help cut emissions through clean-energy investment in programs that could be measured and verified.

Climate finance is a make-or-break issue in talks to try to agree on a broader framework by a U.N. deadline in December, when environment ministers from around the world meet in Copenhagen.

"Realistically, you can either sit and ask for 'X percent' GDP of developed countries and get nothing or you can ask for a donor-driven scheme," Fernando Tudela, the head of Mexico's delegation at U.N. climate talks in Bangkok, told Reuters in an interview.

The fund is one of several proposals delegates from about 180 nations are discussing in U.N. climate talks in Bangkok aimed at narrowing differences over how to share the responsibility in a global fight against climate change.

The G77 bloc of developing countries wants rich nations to cut emissions between 42-45 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 as part of a broader climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol and to contribute up to 1.5 percent of their GDP to climate funds.

They say rich nations are historically responsible for most of the greenhouse gas pollution in the atmosphere and should pay for investment and technology to help green their economies and curb the growth of their emissions.

Tudela dismissed the G77's GDP demand.

"What we are saying is that we don't see any future in that. It's not realistic," he said.

"What the green fund tries to do is to set up a system of positive incentives for developing nations to do more."

Under the fund, developing nations would receive more than they put in while rich nations could only draw less than their contributions. Funds would be managed by the United Nations and operated jointly by rich and poor nations.

He said the key was to draw in developing nations, which are currently not bound under Kyoto to meet binding emissions targets.

"We all share responsibility, we all share in a very differentiated way, in an equitable way."

(Editing by Alex Richardson)