LONDON The key to successful climate talks in Copenhagen next month will be making sure rich countries fund greener technologies in the developing world, Norway's prime minister said Friday.
Politicians have talked down expectations for the talks which are supposed to find a successor to the Kyoto treaty that expires in 2012, and Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said it now seemed clear a full legal deal could not be reached.
But Copenhagen will be at least partly successful if a funding mechanism is established -- an element of the talks which is even more important than setting new greenhouse gas emissions targets for 2020, Stoltenberg said.
"I believe that the most important issue is the issue of financing," he told Reuters after addressing students at the London School of Economics.
"Norway has proposed a system of financing where we auction part of the global emission allowances and earmark those to developing countries. Also Mexico has launched a financing mechanism called the Green Fund and now we are working closely with Mexico to make those two proposals compatible."
Thursday, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat called on rich nations at Copenhagen to pledge $10 billion a year for three years.
Yvo de De Boer said that was one of his three goals for the summit, along with emission targets for 2020 by rich countries and planned actions by developing countries.
Stoltenberg declined to say if Copenhagen could be judged a success if it achieved a funding deal but failed to set 2020 targets for developed nations to cut their greenhouse gas emissions.
"I don't know if I am able to answer that now," he said. "But I believe we should mobilize whatever we have now to get a strong agreement in Copenhagen and then we should evaluate it afterwards.
Norway, one of the richest nations in the world as the number 5 oil exporter, has promised about $530 million a year to protect tropical forests.