No Paris climate deal without finance for poor nations - French president

by Megan Rowling | @meganrowling | Thomson Reuters Foundation
Tuesday, 19 May 2015 17:00 GMT

French President Francois Hollande gives a speech during the Petersberg Climate Dialogue conference in Berlin, Germany, May 19, 2015. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz/Pool

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French and German leaders say roadmap for ramping up climate finance for developing countries is essential

(Updates with Oxfam comment)

BARCELONA, May 19 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A roadmap for ramping up climate finance for developing countries to $100 billion a year by 2020 will be essential to agreeing a new global climate change deal in Paris later this year, the leaders of France and Germany said on Tuesday.

"Without any financial commitment, there won't be an agreement in Paris," French President Francois Hollande told the Sixth Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin.

"Developing countries won't accept an agreement if they do not get any financial support for adaptation and (energy) transition - and I am thinking in particular of African countries," he added.

The Gambia's climate change minister, Pa Ousman Jarju, said finance is "key", and should be part of a package of support for developing countries to allow them to opt for low-carbon growth. 

At U.N. talks in Copenhagen in 2009, rich countries pledged to mobilise $100 billion per year by 2020 in climate finance from public and private sources to help poorer nations cope with worsening extreme weather and rising seas, and to develop their economies cleanly by using renewable energy.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a roadmap for how the world will raise the additional $70 billion in climate funding needed to reach the $100 billion goal, from the current level of around $30 billion. 

A summit of G7 industrialised nations in Germany in June should provide an "important signal" for this path, she added. 

Germany supports the $100 billion goal set in 2009 and will provide its share, Merkel said.

The European nation plans to double its aid for climate action from the 2014 level through 2019, as part of an 8.3 billion euro ($9.28 billion) increase in development assistance, she added, although she did not give a precise figure.

In 2014, climate finance from the public spending budget was around 2 billion euros, and this amount will be doubled by 2020, tweeted Jochen Flasbarth, state secretary in Germany's environment ministry.

Private finance and innovative means of funding will be needed alongside public money, the French and German leaders said. 

Both Merkel and Hollande called for a global market for trading carbon emissions that would set an international price on carbon. 


The German chancellor said it was important for the U.N.'s Green Climate Fund - which has pledges of $10.2 billion so far - to select the first projects it will back before the Paris climate talks, in order to build trust between developed and developing nations.

"This is really necessary because many countries needing money hear about these major sums but if you ask them what has been disbursed, we have a lack here," Merkel said.

Oxfam urged other rich countries to respond to the call for a credible plan to boost climate support for developing nations.

The Paris talks should also agree on how to do that after 2020, when the new deal will take effect, including setting periodic targets, said Jan Kowalzig, Oxfam's climate change policy advisor.

"So far, Germany and other rich countries are highly reluctant to accept any future commitments in this field. If this does not change, a strong new agreement in Paris may not happen,” he added.

Both the French and German leaders emphasised the need to increase ambition on cutting greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit global warming to an internationally agreed ceiling of 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. 

Merkel said Germany would propose for the Paris agreement international emissions reductions of at least 60 percent on 2010 levels by 2050 as a "very ambitious" long-term global goal. 

The Gambia's Jarju said vulnerable countries had a “fundamental” need to adapt to climate impacts, and it was critical for the Paris agreement to include an adaptation goal “to build a resilient world".

"To get to an agreement, we must tell developing countries that we stand by them," President Hollande said.

(Reporting by Megan Rowling, editing by Laurie Goering)

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