OECD says committed $23 billion in climate aid in 2010

LONDON Tue Dec 6, 2011 11:40am EST

A chimney of a coal burning heating system for apartment blocks billows smoke in central Beijing December 4, 2011.  REUTERS/David Gray

A chimney of a coal burning heating system for apartment blocks billows smoke in central Beijing December 4, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/David Gray

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LONDON (Reuters) - Rich nations of the OECD have committed $22.9 billion, or 15 percent of their total official development assistance (ODA) in 2010, to help poor countries fight climate change, the Paris-based body said on Tuesday.

In a statement, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) said a third of the estimated climate-change-related aid last year went to support countries coping with the effects of climate change, such as drought and flooding.

Two-thirds of the total commitment, or $17.6 billion, went towards helping developing nations curb their growing emissions of greenhouse gases. This was up 69 percent from 2009, it said.

"Going forward, we urge donors to step up bringing in both mitigation and adaptation considerations into their development policies," OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria said in the statement.

The announcement comes as representatives from more than 190 nations meet in Durban, South Africa, for a second and final week to work on a new globally binding deal aimed at cutting emissions.

The issue of financing climate change mitigation and adaptation is high on the agenda, since rich nations two years ago had agreed the developing world would need $100 billion in annual climate aid by 2020 to help fight global warming.

At a U.N. summit in Copenhagen in 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama and other leaders also promised "new and additional" climate aid approaching $30 billion from 2010-12.

Developing nations want assurance that the money will be new and additional to existing ODA, while many developed countries say its difficult to separate the aid.

Britain's fast-start finance for 2011 and 2012 is funded from the UK government's 2.9 billion pound ($4.56 billion) International Climate Fund (ICF). The ICF budget is part of the UK's ODA allocation.

In a separate statement on Wednesday, the UK government said it has allocated more than two thirds of its fast-start finance pledge, with much of the money earmarked for various projects in Africa.

($1 = 0.6366 British pounds)

(Reporting by Jeff Coelho; editing by Jason Neely)

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