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Financing: Critical to the Paris Climate Change Summit
By Deng Yaqing | Web Exclusive

Kicking off on November 30, the Paris climate change summit is expected to work out the draft text of an agreement toward fighting global warming on December 5. Negotiators from more than 190 countries and regions will then carry out deliberations for the finalization of a legally binding document intended to tackle climate change globally. 

"So far, progress is slow, and it's an arduous task to reach a consensus," said Xie Zhenhua, China's special representative on climate change affairs. Xie pointed out that current divergences primarily concentrate on four aspects--the scope of legally binding force, the effectiveness of the final agreement, the relation between the prospective Paris agreement and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and financing.

Some are voicing concerns that, "if problems concerning financing can't be properly solved by the ongoing negotiations, the Paris summit would be a failure," according to Xie. "A clear roadmap and timetable needs to be figured out to put those promises made by developed countries into reality," Xie said. This points out the importance of coordinating global financial support, since any change proposed may affect the growth of the countries involved in the deal.

At the 2009 Copenhagen summit, developed countries promised to provide a Green Climate Fund of $100 billion a year in climate financing for emerging and developing countries by 2020. "So far, pledges made by developed countries just exceed $10 billion, and there has been no explicit definition of capital sources and composition," said Gao Feng, China's foreign ministry's special representative for climate change negotiations.

"Moreover, a consensus has been reached that the developed world needs to intensify their financial support on the basis of the promised $100 billion after 2020," said Xie.

Though being a developing country, China also voluntarily provides financial support for other developing nations to improve their capabilities in regards to mitigation, adaptation, management and financing from multilateral funds. In September, China announced to set up the South-South Climate Cooperation Fund with an input of 20 billion yuan ($3.13 billion).

"The South-South Climate Cooperation Fund is a horse of a different color from Green Climate Fund, because what China has done is voluntary, while developed countries have obligations to offer financial support," Xie noted.

(Reporting from Paris )


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