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Surprise, Surprise: US, EU Backtracking On Climate Billions

Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said today that the United States and the European Union-member countries are “backtracking” on their commitment to provide USD 100 billion towards climate financing as committed at the Copenhagen meeting last year.

At the end of a two-day informal climate ministerial summit to address the key issue of climate financing in the climate change jigsaw puzzle, the Indian minister cautioned the industrialised countries not to walk away from their commitments because of the current financial crisis.

Describing the Geneva meeting as “not a productive” event, the minister spoke about “a conscious effort (by developed countries) to underplay finance and overplay the role of markets (in climate finance).”

“If there is anybody who is backtracking on the Copenhagen agreement it is the Americans, the Europeans because they are reinterpreting the USD 100 billion (by 2020),” Ramesh told PTI here.

“By and large financing for adaptation has necessarily to be public financing, (while) mitigation will involve a mix of public and private funds…Now they are trying to redefine the USD 100 billion by saying that if we come with ten billion and leverage the remaining USD 90 billion, we have met our target of USD 100 billion,” he said.

Clearly, “this is not what we thought out in Copenhagen, where USD 100 billion was generally the figure on the table,” he insisted.

“With the growing financial crisis in the developed countries, there is a visible backtracking on the public component of USD 100 billion and they are also redefining ‘new and additional funds,” the minister maintained.

“The whole financing game with the financial squeeze in the developed countries, there is an attempt to redefine their obligations as part of para five in the Copenhagen agreement,” Ramesh underlined.

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