UN chief urges leaders to finalize climate fund
DHAKA, Bangladesh—U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged world leaders Monday to finalize the financing for a multibillion-dollar fund to fight the effects of climate change.
Delegates at a U.N.-sponsored climate change conference that starts Nov. 28 in Durban, South Africa, are to consider ways to raise $100 billion a year for the Green Climate Fund created last December to help countries cope with global warming.
Ban told the opening session of a climate meeting in Bangladesh's capital that the world should make a concerted effort to finance the fund.
"Governments must find ways -- now -- to mobilize resources up to the $100 billion per annum pledged," he said. "An empty shell is not sufficient."
Representatives of about 30 nations in the Climate Vulnerable Forum are meeting for two days in Dhaka to formulate a united stand on funding for schemes to limit the damage from global warming.
The countries from Africa, the Americas, Asia and the Pacific are also seeking action by industrialized nations to cut carbon emissions and provide technical and financial support.
The forum was founded by President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives and first met in November 2009.
Ban said he hoped the forum would take a strong position at the Durban conference, which is to be attended by more than 190 countries.
"I will count on the members of this forum to arrive with a strong and united voice," he said.
"In this time of global economic uncertainty, let your commitment to green growth be an inspiration to more developed countries -- the major emitters," he said. "Even in these difficult times, we cannot afford delay."
The Durban conference will also seek to reach a new international climate agreement as the Kyoto Protocol expires next year.
The 1997 Kyoto Protocol mandated relatively modest reductions of emissions of greenhouse gases by industrialized nations. The U.S. rejected the agreement, saying it would hurt the American economy and that cutbacks should have been required of poorer but fast-developing nations such as China and India.
Talks on a pact to succeed Kyoto have bogged down for years because of continued resistance by the U.S. and by the developing world, which says mandatory restraints on emissions would hamper efforts to alleviate poverty.