Climate fund idea may be just a face-saving device at Bali:Observers

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New Delhi, Dec 11 (UNI) As the Bali talks on post-Kyoto climate change pact inch towards a close, the chances recede of rich nations agreeing to the mention in the final declaration of the target of greenhouse gas emissions of 25 to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

Observers here feel the idea of creation of a global fund, to help developing countries adopt technologies to cut emissions and help them in adaptation measures, has been floated as a sort of face saving device.

Developing countries usually agree to such funds but in fact the total amount promised by them never comes, as has happened in many cases of UN funds, said one of them.

The talks on post-Kyoto regime began at the Indonesian Island on December 3 and will come to a close on December 14.

The United States is insisting on dropping any reference to 2020 guidelines for rich nations, saying it would prejudge the outcome of the talks.

However, The Eropean Union has set a target of 30 per cent by 2020 provided other developed nations agree to it, or even more than 30 per cent if it necessary.

For an effective fight against climate change, this range of reductions was needed for developed countries by 2020, EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said in Bali.

The Bali talks aim to bind all nations to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions from 2013 but developing countries want rich countries to do more before they agree.

The negotiations aim to agree a ''roadmap'' to work out a broader, more effective climate pact to succeed the Kyoto Protocol by 2009.

The urgency of such a deal has been spurred by UN climate change reports which say that global warming, due to increasing concentration of greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, will set off catastrophic climate changes like more heatwaves, droughts, and rising seas.

The Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012 mandates 36 developed nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases, mainly from burning fossil fuels, by five per cent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.

The United States opposes Kyoto, saying it would lead to increase in unemployment. Besides, the protocol unjustly exempts developing countries from any targets for 2012.

Australia too had so far been opposing Kyoto, but its new government ratified it just at the beginning of Bali talks. However, Australian negotiators have so far not made it clear as to whether they supported the inclusion of an interim emissions reduction target of 25-40 per cent by 2020 in the draft text.

Many developing nations say they would try to reduce their emissions but want incentives such as clean technology and aid.

Among the developing countries, China is poised to become the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases like carbon, but is not mandated any cuts under the Kyoto Protocol.

Making China agree to a broader climate pact is regarded as crucial by Bali delegates.

More than 200 climate scientists from all over the world have urged the participating countries at Bali to cut greenhouse emissions, mainly from burning fossil fuels, substantailly and early.

According to them, the ultimate goal should be at least a 50 per cent reduction in globe-warming emissions by 2050.

Meanwhile, finance ministers of 20 of the participatory nations are in a meeting in Bali to debate how to fund the fight against climate change. They will discuss issues ranging from the potential for carbon markets to help cut industrial emissions of greenhouse gases from fossil fuels to incentives for people to put solar panels on the roof at home.

According to experts, the costs of fighting climate change would be far smaller than those of ignoring the problem.

UNI

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