A new report from the UN estimates that rich nations will have to spend $142 billion annually to help poor nations combat global warming.
Reuters obtained a copy of the report, but it doesn’t says how many nations the money would be divided amongst. While $142 billion is great for a headline (see above) it’s probably not a lot on a per nation basis.
If the global community is serious about killing emissions without killing prosperity for poorer countries, then this is the price that must be paid.
By Pete Harrison, BRUSSELS, June 5 (Reuters)–Poor countries will need to be given about 100 billion euros ($142 billion) a year by 2020 to help them cut emissions in the fight against climate change, a draft report for European Union finance ministers shows.
The report, obtained by Reuters, comes after the EU laid out plans to hold competitive tenders for the funding from richer countries, during which poor nations would present their most cost-effective projects for cutting carbon emissions.
Both documents reveal an EU vision taking shape in the run-up to global climate talks in Copenhagen in December. Finance ministers will fine-tune the bloc’s position at a meeting next Tuesday.
The key issue in Copenhagen will be finding the finance needed to persuade developing nations to cut emissions, and further funding to help them adapt to a problem they say has been caused by rich, industrialised nations.
Between half and two-thirds of the cheapest options for cutting greenhouse gases up to 2020 or 2030 are in developing countries, the EU’s Economic Policy Committee and the Economic and Financial Committee say in the document on funding needs.
Environmentalists see the document as proof that Europe’s economic experts recognise the need to support poor nations in the fight against climate change.
“The question is now whether the finance ministers will ignore their own experts, or will endorse this clear recognition of the needs in developing countries,” said Greenpeace campaigner Joris den Blanken.
Emissions cuts by poor nations would partly pay for themselves because cleaning up power generation and industry also reduces their consumption of expensive fossil fuels, but an extra 100 billion euros a year of investments would still be needed by 2020.
This would include 71 billion euros to clean up industry and energy sectors, 18 billion to halt the destruction of rainforests and 5 billion to curb emissions from agriculture.
Although the numbers look huge, they are less daunting when compared to the $300 billion of subsidies for fossil fuels in the developing world each year or the $250 billion of agricultural subsidies among OECD states, the report said.
On top of the cost of cutting their own emissions, poor nations will also need help with the costs of adapting to climate change.
Such funding could help develop drought-resistant crops, build levees against rising sea levels or find new sources of fresh water as rising temperatures deplete the glaciers on which millions depend for summer meltwater.
“The precise cost of adaptation in developing countries is very difficult to estimate, due to uncertainty about the precise scope of global warming, its specific regional and local impact…” said the report.
But it delivered a rough estimate that adaptation costs in all developing countries could be 23-54 billion euros per year in 2030.
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