INTERVIEW-Brazil to create climate fund, technology for poor

Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:14am EST

* Brazil, China, India, South Africa to discuss climate

* Brazil to propose climate fund, technology for poor

* U.S. could lose face without strong climate bill-Brazil

By Raymond Colitt

BRASILIA, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Brazil will propose the creation of a joint fund with China, India and South Africa to help poor countries adapt to global warming as part of a broader attempt to revive stalled global climate talks.

Brazil's Environment Minister Carlos Minc said in an interview late on Wednesday that he would make the proposal at a climate summit involving the four emerging market nations this weekend in New Delhi.

"Its purpose will be to help very poor countries adapt to climate change," Minc said, adding that China had already expressed interest in the project.

The proposal is an attempt to breathe new life into global climate talks after the Copenhagen summit failed to produce a broad and definitive accord. Brazil, South Africa, India and China -- a group dubbed BASIC -- reached a non-binding agreement on broad principles with the United States in Copenhagen.

But several poor countries said the rich industrialized world was not offering to cut emissions enough and they expressed fears they would not receive sufficient technology and funding to deal with global warming.

The New Dehli meeting would seek to provide concrete solutions for poor nations but also highlight the need of the rich countries, particularly the United States, to do more, said Minc.

"The resources we'll put into it will call attention to how they are escaping their responsibilities," Minc said without giving a figure.

Rich countries had pledged $30 billion in climate change funding for the 2010-12 period and set a goal of $100 billion by 2020, far less than what developing countries had wanted.

Minc said failure by the U.S. Senate to pass a climate control bill would further hamper chances for a post-Copenhagen deal this year and tarnish President Barack Obama's leadership on the issue.

The future of the bill looked uncertain after the Democrats lost a key Senate seat in Massachusetts to the Republicans this week.

"This would hamper things further," said Minc.

Because Copenhagen failed to provide a road map, groups such as the European Union and the BASIC bloc need to have unified positions to accelerate talks between one another, Minc said.

Brazil, South Africa, India and China would try to standardize their emission targets using the same measurements, Minc said. Brazil aims to cut its emissions as much as 39 percent by 2020, while China pledged to cut carbon dioxide produced for each unit of economic growth by 40-45 percent by 2020.

TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER

The BASIC nations will also seek a common position on technology transfer. Minc proposes measures to create partnerships in which poor countries are not only given access to technology but receive assistance in applying it properly.

Countries like Australia, Canada, and the United States should immediately provide countries like China and India technology to store carbon underground, he said.

"Rich countries demand emissions cuts from the BASICs and we'll say yes but you must provide us the latest technology," Minc said.

Brazil offers satellite images for Latin American and African countries to be able to measure tropical forest destruction, which contributes up to 20 percent of global carbon emissions.

It also provides know-how on water resource management as well as technology to produce and use low-emission ethanol as an automotive fuel, Minc said.

He added that Brazil will spend 20 percent of its Amazon fund on projects in neighboring countries.

Brazil launched the fund last year to promote sustainable development and scientific research in the world's largest rain forest. It named the first projects last month.

Norway has pledged $1 billion to the fund through 2015 and Germany pledged 18 million euros ($26.8 million). Minc said three more European countries would soon announce donations.

(Editing by Stuart Grudgings and Paul Simao)




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