AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
Published — Friday 7 December 2012
Last update 7 December 2012 10:36 pm
DOHA: UN climate negotiators yesterday locked horns on the final day of talks in Doha to halt the march of global warming, deeply divided on funding for poor countries and extending the greenhouse gas-curbing Kyoto Protocol.
Delegates knuckled down for a late night of final haggling to find consensus on an interim plan to rein in climate change and smooth the way to a new deal that must enter into force in 2020.
Funding to help poor countries deal with the fallout from global warming and convert to planet-friendlier energy sources remained a key sticking point between negotiators from nearly 200 countries gathered in the Qatari capital.
“We cannot close the (negotiations) without... finance,” Gambian negotiator Pa Ousman Jarju told a late-afternoon press conference.
Developed countries are being pressed to show how they intend to keep a promise to raise climate funding for poorer nations to $ 100 billion (76 billion euros) per year by 2020 — up from a total of $ 30 billion in 2010-2012.
Also in dispute is “hot air,” the name given to Earth-warming greenhouse gas emission quotas that countries were given under the first leg of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and did not use — some 13 billion tones in total.
The credits can be sold to nations battling to meet their own quotas, meaning greenhouse gas levels decrease on paper but not in the atmosphere.
Poland and Russia emitted much less than their lenient limits, and insisted in Doha on being allowed to bank the difference beyond 2012 — a move most other parties vehemently oppose.
Agreement on hot air is key to the Doha delegates extending the life of the Kyoto pact, whose first leg expires on Dec. 31.
The protocol is the world’s only binding pact on curbing greenhouse gases, but it locks in only developed nations and excludes major developing polluters such as China and India, as well as the United States, which refused to ratify it.
A new 2020 deal, due to be finalized by 2015, will include commitments for all the nations of the world.