R euters reports, “Despite tough economic times, rich countries must make good on short-term pledges of billions of dollars in financing to help developing countries tackle global warming, the U.S. climate envoy said.
The climate deal forged among more than 190 countries at the annual U.N. talks in Mexico’s Cancun beach resort on Saturday included agreements on measuring emissions, technology transfer and $100 billion in financing for developing countries from 2020.
A Green Climate Fund would help channel some of that aid.
The $100 billion in financing, contingent on developing countries helping to fight emissions and being transparent about it, came on top of a pledge made at last year’s talks in Copenhagen for fast-start financing of $30 billion for 2010 to 2012.
Four Republicans in the U.S. Senate — James Inhofe, John Barrasso, David Vitter and George Voinovich — have opposed the fast-start financing, saying the money should be spent on easing the deficit.
But the short-term financing is “extremely important, a core part of deal,” Todd Stern, the top U.S. climate diplomat, told reporters.
The State Department said the United States spent $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2010 on climate change mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries, and President Barack Obama has asked Congress for $1.9 billion in fast-start financing for 2011.
“The fiscal situation is extremely tough in the U.S., it’s tough in Europe and other places as well, and we are going to have to do the best we possibly can to carry out and make good on the fast-start pledge made in Copenhagen and reiterated in Cancun,” Stern told a news conference.”
Read more: Reuters