UN CLIMATE CHIEF: RICH NATIONS NEED TO OFFER MORE FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE TO POOR ONES FOR A NEW ACCORD

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8 october 2009

Rich nations need to ante-up in climate talks: U.N.

Thu Oct 8, 2009, Reuters, by David Fogarty and Chisa Fujioka

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Poorer countries are helping shape a broader pact to fight climate change but their efforts are being stymied by rich nations' lack of commitment on finance and tougher emissions cuts, the U.N. said on Thursday.

Funding to help poorer nations is a make-or-break issue in negotiations to seal a broader climate pact to replace the Kyoto Protocol at a summit in Copenhagen in December.

Poorer nations are demanding cash to help them adapt to the effects of climate change, such as rising seas, and green their economies to slow the rapid rise of their carbon emissions.

But there is still no agreement on the size of climate funds or how to manage them.

"There has to be a quid pro quo, you have to see a significant advance on the finance. Otherwise, what's the point?" Yvo de Boer, the head of the U.N. Climate Change Secretariat told reporters on Thursday in the Thai capital.

He said developing nations had shown "very constructive engagement" in designing parts of a new agreement covering steps to curb emissions, adaptation, technology and a U.N. carbon credit scheme that rewards preservation of forests.

But rich nations remained a roadblock, he said.

"Unless we see an advance on ambitious industrialized country targets and significant finance on the table, it is very difficult for negotiators in this process to continue their work in good faith. And that is the stark reality of where we are at the moment."

Delegates at marathon climate talks in Bangkok that end on Friday are trying to trim down a complex draft text that will form the basis of a new climate agreement.

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