Bloomberg News

Qatar Proposes Climate Finance to Break UN Deadlock

December 08, 2012

(Corrects spelling of name in first paragraph.)

Abdullah Bin Hamad Al-Attiyah, the Qatari diplomat chairing United Nations climate treaty talks in Doha, proposed a set of decisions to break a deadlock on discussions about climate aid and damages payments.

The proposals included an extension to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and a call for industrial nations to channel at least as much annual aid for climate-related projects in developing countries as the average for the past three years. It suggests work next year on a mechanism that would insure against conditions that developing nations say they can’t adapt to, including rising seas and droughts.

“I see this package as a gateway to the future: the Doha climate gateway,” Al-Attiya said. “In my judgment they make a balanced package. We must not make the search for the better an enemy of the good. This should make us equally happy or unhappy.” He gave delegates 90 minutes to consider the proposals, calling the next meeting for 10 a.m. local time.

Envoys from 194 nations are in Doha to streamline the complex UN negotiations from three parallel strands of discussions into one, focusing on crafting by 2015 a new deal that would be legally-binding on all nations from 2020. The talks have run through the night the past three days as negotiators clashed over a $100 billion aid pledge and the call by island nations for a so-called loss-and-damage mechanism.

‘Long Way’

“We’re quite a long way from a result,” Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent said in an interview late yesterday, before today’s proposals were made. “Nothing’s been finalized.”

Al-Attiya’s plans were detailed in a series of documents posted today on the website of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. The suggested aid level is half of what developing countries have been calling for in Doha, and the loss-and-damage proposal has been opposed by the U.S.

This year’s meeting has been dominated by demands from developing nations for a road map charting how industrial nations plan to deliver the $100 billion a year of aid promised by 2020. The funds are for projects that reduce emissions and protect against the effects of climate change.

Clarity on future funding is important because a three-year period of “fast-start finance” totaling more than $30 billion ends this year. Developing nations want security that the flow of aid will continue. Today’s text on finance calls for support to continue at least at the rate of the fast-start period, with industrial nations urged to provide more clarity on how they’ll ramp up to $100 billion.

Industrial and developing nations have also clashed over the loss-and-damage proposal, with the U.S. rejecting any new system that might imply liability.

The loss-and-damage text proposed today would decide to create “institutional arrangements, such as an international mechanism,” to address the issue.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alex Morales in Doha at amorales2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net


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