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Poor nations dismayed by looming climate air gap

Published on Nov 11, 2012 4:57 PM

OSLO (REUTERS) - Rich nations are dismaying developing countries with pledges merely to continue aid to help them combat climate change next year, despite past promises of a tenfold surge to US$100 billion (S$122 billion) a year by 2020.

"There should be a transparent process to scale up finance" towards 2020, said Mr Seyni Nafo of Mali, a spokesman for the 54-nation African group negotiating before the United Nations. The poor needed more than "an indication that funding will not fall off a cliff", he said.

A looming gap in aid pledges after a 2010-2012 "fast start" programme of US$10 billion a year is a big source of tension before UN talks in Qatar from Nov 26 to Dec. 7 meant to review progress towards a deal to fight global warming, due by 2015.

The problem dates back to a UN summit in Copenhagen in 2009, when world leaders, including US President Barack Obama, cleared the fast-start programme and set a separate goal of US$100 billion in annual aid by 2020 to help the poor to slow global warming.

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