17 Dec 2009, 7:13pm
Latest Climate News
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Clinton Offers Surprise Deal at Climate Conference

by James Graff, World Editor, Sphere, Dec 17, 2009 [here]

With the clock winding down and the hosts of the Copenhagen climate conference reportedly abandoning hope of a deal, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced a possibly game-changing U.S. push to facilitate a $100 billion per year fund to help developing countries pay for measures to mitigate and adapt to global warning. Her remarks threw the spotlight on China and set exhausted negotiators back to work on salvaging a conference still teetering on the edge of failure. …

The proposal gave a fillip of hope to negotiators who have been unable to bridge yawning gaps between poor countries and the richest ones over how to pay the trillions of dollars in estimated costs to reach the conference’s stated goal of keeping average temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius. The next 24 hours will reveal whether it is enough to reshuffle the cards and allow government leaders to sign a substantive agreement Friday.

Even if her conditions are fulfilled, Clinton remained intentionally vague on how much U.S. taxpayers would be contributing to any such fund. “We expect this funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance,” she said.

Nevertheless, the prospect of any U.S. public funds going into such a fund is sure to further stiffen the spines of Republicans in Congress who don’t even believe there’s any global warming to mitigate. Sen James Inhofe, R-Okla. — already in Copenhagen at the vanguard of what Fox News reports will be 40 members of Congress arriving today and Friday — poured cold water on any chance of an agreement. “Nothing binding will come out of here in my opinion, and if it does, it will be rejected by the American people,” he said.

In a bid to head off the first of those predictions, President Barack Obama will arrive in Copenhagen Friday morning for what he hopes will be a signing ceremony with about 110 other government leaders. … [more]



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