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Geneva talks aim to maintain climate finance momentum

United Kingdom
James Murray

Ministerial meeting hopes for low-carbon funding breakthrough ahead of Cancun summit

Environment ministers from over 30 countries will meet in Geneva tomorrow at an informal two-day meeting designed to lay the ground work for a breakthrough climate financing agreement at the up-coming UN summit in Mexico.

The meeting is expected to focus on both short term climate financing commitments, such as the pledge to provide $30bn of funding for developing countries over the next three years, and longer term financing mechanisms, such as the carbon and aviation levies being discussed by a separate UN-appointed advisory group.

The meeting will be attended by British climate change minister Greg Barker and government officials are privately optimistic that climate financing remains one of the areas where progress towards an international deal is continuing to be made.

While negotiations surrounding emission targets remain firmly deadlocked in the wake of tense negotiations at the most recent UN meeting in Bonn, reports last week suggested industrialised countries had already met the target of committing $30bn of "fast-start" funding over the next three years, albeit by re-assigning some funding previously earmarked for development projects.

Moreover, the advisory group appointed by the UN to investigate mechanisms for raising $100bn a year in climate financing by 2020 is said to be making good progress and is expected to deliver its recommendations ahead of Cancun meeting.

"There has been a lot of work around climate finance and forest protection," said a spokeswoman for the British Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC), adding that there was confidence amongst negotiators that some sort of agreement could be reached over the coming months.

Gordon Shepherd, head of the WWF Climate Initiative, said that ministers gathered in Geneva could help deliver a breakthrough at the Mexico summit by increasing climate financing commitments further. "By transparently mobilising public sector finance to meet the commitments made in Copenhagen, ministers can help set the scene for progress at climate talks in China and Mexico," he predicted.

The meeting follows tripartite talks in Berlin yesterday between British Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne and his French and German counterparts, Ecology Minister Jean-Louis Borloo and Norbert Roettgen.
The ministers discussed tactics ahead of the up-coming meeting of the EU's environment council, where nations are expected to agree whether or not to increase the bloc's emissions target for 2020 from 20 to 30 per cent ahead of the Cancun Summit.

The UK, France and German recently issued a collective call for the EU to adopt a more ambitious target and Huhne, Borloo and Roettgen are likely to have discussed how best to secure support from eastern and southern European countries that have expressed opposition to the proposed change.

Meanwhile, DECC is preparing to next week host a major conference designed to address how private sector finance can be raised for investment in low carbon projects, particularly in developing economies.

The Capital Markets Climate Initiative will be launched by Greg Barker and will be attended by former UN climate change chief Yvo de Boer and London Mayor Boris Johnson, as well as many of Europe's top financiers.

The two-day meeting is expected to focus on how to remove the various barriers that have to date discouraged private equity firms, investments banks, asset managers and other institutional investors from providing finance to low carbon projects on the scale that is required.

El contenido de las noticias que se presentan en esta sección es responsabilidad directa de las agencias emisoras de noticias y no necesariamente reflejan la posición del Gobierno de México en este u otros temas relacionados.


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