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Founding Comes with Strings Attached

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Staying with Copenhagen, where industrialized nations are ready to raise US$100 billion per year to assist developing countries.

The climate change financing would come over the next 10 years to help recipients fight climate change but as with most things there are strings attached.

The United States has announced that it will join other industrialized powers in providing money-assistance for the developing world. But the US did not mention how much money it is willing to raise.

Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State, said, "In the context of a strong accord, in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation, the United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing one hundred billion dollars a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries."

Clinton suggests that the funding is contingent upon developing nations committing to more dramatic emissions cut targets, and willingly acceding to international supervision.

But the UN Climate Change Convention Pact and Bali Roadmap say the scale of developing countries' emissions cuts will depend on how much aid they get from industrialized nations, not the other way around.

The agreements also single out developed countries as the main cause of climate change and, therefore, hold that they should spearhead emissions cut efforts.

Evo Morales, Bolivian President, said, "They are only talking about the effects, and not the causes, of climate change. I regret to say that we are very cowardly for not wanting to touch the causes of the destruction of the environment on Planet Earth."

Clinton says the long-term climate financing of US$100 billion would come "from a wide variety of sources," and will be mainly focused on forestry and adaptation.

The annual long-term funding amount is far less than some African nations have demanded, but it appears to be the most that US President Barack Obama's administration can garner political support for.

(CCTV December 18, 2009)

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