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DOHA -- Six countries will contribute to the climate finance after the Fast Start Program expires at the year's end, chief of China's delegation to the UN climate talks said Thursday.
Xie Zhenhua, China's top climate official, revealed the most upbeat news on the talks' finance front at a news conference jointly held by officials from the BASIC group (China, India, Brazil, South Africa).
While confirming the total sum would exceed the Fast Start's $30 billion from 2010 to 2012, Xie stopped short of telling which countries will make the donation.
Nozipho Joyce Mxakato-Disek, South Africa's representative, said the six nations' announcements will help boost confidence and trust among the delegates in Doha.
Brazilian representative Andre Odenbreit Carvalho said he expects more quantified contributions and the insufficiency should not be an obstacle to steps forwards to fulfill the long-term finance goal.
Collectively, the BASIC officials expressed hopes that more rich countries would follow the lead of the six nations and deliver on the promise made in previous climate talks.
In 2010, the Green Climate Fund was set up in Cancun with developed countries promising to ramp up annual climate support for poor countries to $100 billion by the year of 2020.
Before the latest development in Doha, the long-term finance program remained largely a shell.
"Given the grave economy, it may be difficult to reach the goal of the long-term scheme in Doha, but at least we hope to see a clear commitment to the mid-term fund from 2013 to 2015," said Xie.
The Group 77 and China have proposed that developed countries raise $60 billion per year, starting in 2013, for "mid-term" climate fund as the long-term finance falls into uncertainty in the wake of global economic downturn.
The six countries' contributions may be the first step of the developed world to fill up this mid-term finance urgently needed by their developing peers.
Meanwhile, many people say they are not satisfied with the limited progress on the finance front of the talks. Greenpeace' Li Shuo said the six countries' "individual announcements" cannot be compared with "a collective pledge" by the developed community that many people expect to come out of Doha.
"The outcome shows a lack of political will on the part of the rich countries to help the developing world," he said. An Indian journalist at the BASIC conference argued that their "announcements" are not equal to "pledges", particularly if they are not quantified.
The BASIC nations, however, said the announcements are constructive in the sense that they broke the impasse that the finance issue had been locked in since the start of the talks.