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China: New climate change fund 'market-based'

By Lan Lan in Lima, Peru | China Daily USA | Updated: 2014-12-10 12:37

Busy day in Lima as more pledge to Green Fund

China will draw up management measures for the new South-South fund soon, the head of the Chinese delegation to the United Nations climate change conference in Lima, Peru, said on Tuesday.

The South-South fund will be operated with a "market-based approach" to help developing countries build the capacity to cope with climate change, said Xie Zhenhua, vice-chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission.

Meanwhile, progress has been made in Lima as more countries joined a growing list of donors boosting climate action in developing countries.

Australia, which previously said it would not contribute to the Green Climate Fund, pledged Tuesday to contribute 200 million Australian dollars to the fund over four years ($166 million).

"We welcome Australia's initial pledge of support to the Green Climate Fund, but this can only be called a first step and falls short of its fair share, said Kelly Dent, policy adviser with Oxfam Australia.

The fund has reached the minimum it needs to launch next year, but there is a long way to go before developed countries can fulfill their promise to mobilize $100 billion per year by 2020, said Dent.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also urged more pledges to the Green Climate Fund and called for a plan to meet the $100 billion annual goal.

The early announcements of long-term climate targets by China, the United States and the European Union provide foundations for "ever-higher levels of ambition," the UN leader said at the opening ceremony of the high-level segment of the Lima conference.

The joint announcement has demonstrated political willingness by Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, Ban said at a news conference.

"All countries must be part of a solution; this is not a time for tinkering but transformation. The momentum for action is building," he said.

"The China-US joint announcement may turn out to be among the most important moments in two decades of international climate negotiations," said Robert Stavins, director of the Harvard Project on Climate Agreements.

The world's two largest economies and emitters account for nearly 40 percent of global carbon emissions. With Europe, the number rises to more than 50 percent.

Ban said that the parties in Lima should produce a "balanced, well-structured and coherent" draft text for the Paris 2015 agreement, with a common understanding on the scope and status of contributions of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions to the agreement.

He also urged those countries that have not yet done so to "swiftly ratify" the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol, which established its second commitment period.

Bolivian President Evo Morales called on developed countries to take responsibility for the role they have played in exacerbating climate change.

"Developed countries do not want to increase the ambition of their emission cuts there are countries that do not want to reduce emissions domestically or do anything to help developing countries," he said.

Developed countries are "stealing our opportunity to development ourselves in a sustainable way," he said.

China: New climate change fund 'market-based'

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gives a speech during the opening of the High Level Segment of the UN Climate Change Conference COP 20 in Lima on Tuesday. Mariana Bazo / Reuters

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