Climate change: Rich nations threaten poorer ones with fund cut for not signing deal

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London, Apr.11 (ANI): Rich countries have threatened to cut off vital aid to developing nations if they do not sign a deal agreed at the December 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen.

The Guardian has quoted a senior African diplomat, as saying: "The pressure to back the west has been intense. It was done at a very high level and nothing was written down. It was made very clear by the EU, UK, France and the US that if they (developing countries) did not back them, then they would suffer."

"There was definite strong-arming of countries. A lot were left in no doubt that there would be repercussions if they did not associate themselves with the accord," said Saleemul Huq, of the International Institute for Environment and Development, in London.

Yesterday it emerged that the US is to cut climate aid to Bolivia, Ecuador and other countries who have refused to sign up to the accord.

Outgoing UN climate change chief, Yvo de Boer, said: "Bolivia is losing $2.5m in climate funds. That's about what the presidential palace pays for toilet paper a year. Bullying is not an effective instrument."

Earlier this year, Karl Falkenberg, director-general for environment at the European Commission, signalled that countries that did not fully support the accord might not qualify for future funds.

Although the accord is not legally binding and was not adopted by the UN, more than 112 countries have so far "associated" with it. They include 14 African countries that depend on aid from the EU, UK and France.

It commits rich countries to holding emissions to a rise of 2C, provides for 30 billion dollars a year to be found in the short term for developing countries to adapt to climate change, and up to 100 billion dollars a year in the long term.

Some signatories will be richly rewarded for backing the weak agreement. However, 90 poor countries have refused to associate with it, mostly arguing it will not reduce emissions enough to prevent catastrophic climate change. (ANI)

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