UK Energy Secretary Ed Davey said Britain will pay 1.8 billion pounds ($2.8 billion) in climate aid next year, the first G7 nation to make such a pledge at United Nations climate talks in Doha.
The payments will help developing nations cut emissions and adapt to the effects of climate change. Davey may be the first of several European ministers to make aid pledges in Doha. The European Commission's lead negotiator, Artur Runge-Metzger, said last week that member states such as Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands and Nordic countries will give details about their aid plans this week.
“We do need to see more pledges,” Davey said at a press conference in Doha today. “We can't expect all governments to commit all the way to 2020. We must show what's the most effective way to do that.”
Aid has been a sticking point at the talks, with developing nations calling for a roadmap to ramp up assistance from industrialized nations to an annual total of $US100 billion by 2020, from an annual $US10 billion pledged for the three years through 2012, known as fast-start finance.
Developing nations say they're unable to plan efforts to cut greenhouse gases, or protect themselves against erratic rainfall and rising sea levels without the certainty of greater funding. They want to know how industrial nations intend to honor the $US100 billion pledge that they made three years ago at a prior round of UN talks in Copenhagen.
Japan mobilized $US17.4 billion of fast-start finance, making it the biggest donor for the three years through 2012, Japanese envoy Masahiko Horie said today in an interview in Doha.
“We are going to continue our efforts even beyond 2013,” Horie said. He declined to provide an amount.
The U.S., which paid out about $US7.5 billion in fast-start finance, also has yet to detail what it will pay out from next year.
“We have every intention to continue pressing forward with funding of that same kind of level, to the greatest extent that we can,” Todd Stern, the senior State Department diplomat at the talks, said at a briefing yesterday. “Obviously we need to get money, to appropriate from Congress.”
Runge-Metzger said last week that the European Commission is planning to deliver 300 million euros ($380 million) to 500 million euros of financing for projects next year.
Today's UK aid comes from an existing 2.9-billion-pound fund that's already contributed the bulk of the UK's 1.5 billion pounds of fast-start financing.
Davey also today announced some projects that Britain will start funding, including 98 million pounds towards developing renewable energy in Africa, 14 million pounds for a clean energy project in Uganda, a 21 million-pound water security effort and 15 million pounds channeled into a low-carbon agriculture plan in Colombia.