Giant climate deal is too little says UN chief


The giant cash deal to save the planet – proposed by Europe for the forthcoming Copenhagen climate conference – will not be enough, the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, said today.

The public-money fund of up to €50bn annually, which the European Union suggested would be adequate to help developing nations protect themselves from global warming, and cut back on their own carbon emissions, would need to be “scaled up”, Mr Ban said.

His remarks threw into sharp relief the vast scale of new financial aid from the rich to the poor countries which will be necessary to secure a new international climate change treaty in the Danish capital next month. There is already a colossal divergence between what the poorer, developing countries say is necessary, and what the rich developed countries are prepared to pay – which could lead to a deal breaking down.

On a flying visit to London, the Secretary General said that the package agreed by the EU on Friday, which envisaged a total annual climate fund of €100bn, the public finance element of which should be €22bn to €50bn, “could be a good start”.

It would help to bridge the gap in confidence and trust between the developed and the developing nations, he said. But he added: “It needs to be scaled up as we go.”

Europe’s proposals, made at Friday’s council of EU leaders, including Gordon Brown, are vitally important for the Copenhagen meeting, which begins on 7 December, as they are the only figures so far on the table from the rich world for the financial arrangement which will be a key part of any new climate change pact. Europe itself would probably pay between €5bn and €12bn of the 22-to-50 total, with Britain’s share being about €1bn.

It is accepted on all sides that the rich nations, responsible for most of the carbon dioxide which has gone into the atmosphere over the last 200 years, will have to find substantial sums to help the developing countries map out a new low-carbon growth path, and adapt to the effects of climate change which is now unavoidable. But there is a big difference of opinion on what the figures should be.

The developing countries themselves have proposed that the new financial flows should be between 0.5 and 1 per cent of the rich countries’ GDP, which could be anything up to $400bn – about £250bn annually.

Europe’s more modest (but still enormous) figure put forward on Friday thus leaves a very big gap which officials from 192 countries are trying to bridge this week in Barcelona, in the final week-long session of pre-Copenhagen negotiations. Mr Ban’s intervention, stating unequivocally that the EU figures are too low, ups the ante in the talks considerably.

However, one senior European official said he thought it was unlikely that the EU offer could be substantially revised upwards. “This is what the EU has decided its taxpayers can afford and a final deal will have to be of this order,” he said.

Mr Moon said the Copenhagen meeting would be a success if it included four elements: ambitious mid-term targets for developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, coupled with equally ambitious actions from the developing countries to cut their own CO2; a strong deal to help poor states adapt to the effects of the coming warming; substantial financial support for developing countries; and equitable governance structures for all the new arrangements.

But he issued a word of caution, saying that the Copenhagen meeting “might not be the final word on all these matters”.

He said: “I am not lowering the bar.” But he thought that the meeting would be a success if it could produce a politically-binding agreement, rather than a new legally-binding treaty.

“If we agree a binding political commitment, that would be a reasonable success,” he said. “Then post-Copenhagen negotiations should continue until we have a legally-binding agreement as soon as possible.”

Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Greg Dyke insists he will not resign as Football Association chairman after receiving a watch worth more than £16,000 but has called for an end to the culture of gifts being given to football officials
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments