(Reuters) - Almost 200 nations meet in Mexico for U.N. climate talks starting Monday, partly to review pledges by rich countries to provide developing nations with $30 billion in “fast-start” funds to fight global warming.
At face value, the funds have roughly reached the target for 2010-2012, but many developing countries at the meeting say much of the cash is not “new and additional” as promised.
The head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat, Christiana Figueres, says new cash is a “golden key” to making progress on a deal to slow global warming at the annual U.N. talks.
Planned spending amounts to $29.8 billion, according to a Reuters overview. But developing nations say rich nations, facing austerity cuts at home, are dressing up old promises as new.
About 140 nations have agreed to the 2009 Copenhagen Accord for curbing global warming. On finance, developed nations agreed to give “new and additional resources ... approaching $30 billion for the period 2010-2012.”
But there are no rules for deciding who contributes what, no common reporting and no definition of what qualifies as “new and additional.” The Copenhagen Accord also sets a goal of raising aid to at least $100 billion a year from 2020.
Figueres cautioned developing nations that rich nations’ 2010 budgets were largely set before the Copenhagen summit, making it hard for all aid to be new and additional this year.
UNITED STATES - $3 billion. Washington contributed $1.3 billion for 2010 and President Barack Obama is seeking $1.7 billion for 2011. The United States is a leading donor in a $3.5 billion plan to protect forests from 2010-2012 also funded by Australia, France, Japan, Norway and Britain.
JAPAN - $15 billion. Japan said in Copenhagen it would offer $15 billion in the three years to the end of 2012, including $11 billion in public money. The total includes about 1 trillion yen ($12.03 billion) left over from the “Cool Earth Partnership” initiative under the previous Liberal Democratic Party-led government running from 2008-2012.
CANADA - $393 million. Canada has committed C$400 million as fast-start funds for the 2010-2011 fiscal year, above those considered for climate change programs before Copenhagen.
AUSTRALIA - $548 million. In June, it promised 559 million Australian dollars to the 2010-2012 funds.
EUROPEAN UNION - $9.64 billion. A draft EU report says governments are on track to meet a goal of 7.2 billion euros ($9.64 billion) in 2010-2012 and have fulfilled a pledge to provide 2.2 billion euros of the total in 2010.
NORWAY - $1 billion. The government says fast-start funds comprise support for slowing deforestation.
NEW ZEALAND - $69 million. The New Zealand delegation at U.N. talks in August said the government would spend up to NZ$30 million a year from 2010-2012.
SWITZERLAND - $141 million. The government is seeking 140 million Swiss francs in fast-start funds.
Compiled by Alister Doyle in Oslo