As global climate negotiators look ahead to U.N. climate talks in Cancun, Mexico this winter, environment ministers and senior officials from over 50 nations reported progress on a “green fund” to aid developing nations coping with climate change and the shift away from fossil fuels.
U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres calls this fund a “golden key” in the negotiations; an important tool to reassure poor nations that wealthy nations are serious about global warming mitigation. The Fund aims to raise $100 billion a year in climate aid by 2020.
Although there is little hope of securing a binding legal treaty in Cancun, negotiators are optimistic about this “Green Fund” proposal. However, Mexico’s Foreign Minister Patricia Espinoza warned that the climate aid fund is only one part of a broader climate package which needs attention. Unresolved issues remain, including methods for clean energy technology sharing and mechanisms to protect vulnerable forest land.
U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern concurred, saying “We are not going to move on the Green Fund, and the $100 billion, if issues central to the Copenhagen Accord, including mitigation and transparency, don’t also move.” Stern reiterated that President Obama is still committed to trimming U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, despite the Senate’s lack of progress in passing comprehensive climate legislation. The U.S. is the world’s only major developed nation without a legal cap on greenhouse gas emissions.