Thursday, December 17, 2009

Clinton Pledges $100 Billion to Climate Change

Hilary Clinton spoke today at the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, stating that the US will commit to giving $100 billion a year by 2020 in support of reducing climate change for the world's poorest countries. This is a big step because so far there has been a deadlock at the conference, mainly due to the lack of funding for the necessary actions to reduce global warming. The support that the US is giving will significantly help the conference and the goal of reducing the global temperature by 2 degrees Celsius, which would be the temperature pre-industrialisation. Clinton made a point to say that this would not help anything if all major economies do not stand behind strong mitigation actions and provide full transparency to their implementation. So far, the EU has pushed for the harshest cutbacks and making this conference a big priority. UK prime minister Gordon Brown said, "In these few days at Copenhagen which will be blessed or blamed for generations to come, we cannot permit the politics of narrow self-interest to prevent a policy for human survival". There still needs to be more commitment from developed countries, although this new financial package is in the right direction. The developing countries are going to see the worst of climate change while having done the least to create it. It is therefore the responsibility of the developed nations to not only work on their own emission reductions, but to financially help and support the efforts done by the developing nations. The statement from Clinton today will need further explanation, as some environmental organizations asked if this was in addition to current funding and where the money is coming from. However, this is a good thing and will be in addition to the efforts to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals.

-Sara Frodge