Photo by Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced earlier today at COP15 that the US is ready to join other industrialized countries in offering developing nations a total $100 billion by 2020 to help develop clean technology and cope with climate change. She also noted that this money will only be available if an ambitious deal is made by the end of this week. Specifically, the AP reports that Clinton said the agreement must include “meaningful actions to cut greenhouse gas emissions and a system to ensure all parties’ actions are transparent.” As the talks have continued to stall due to the dissatisfaction of developing countries, this compromise between industrialized and developing countries needs to be accepted by all of our world leaders if an agreement is going to be reached soon.
The NY Times reported yesterday that the “poor and emerging countries” bloc, otherwise known as G77, have been resistant to make an agreement due to the “economic and environmental tyranny of the industrial world.” The group, actually made up of 130 nations and including small islands without the resources or organization to effectively negotiate, came together to take advantage of larger countries such as Brazil and China.
It was late last night that Ethiopian prime minister, Meles Zenawi, in a move to compromise, asked for a $100 billion agreement – lower than what many developing countries have been calling for. Saying that some deal is better than no deal, the prime minister is still being criticized by many G77 nations. And with just under two days left, Suzanne Goldenberg at the Guardian wearily writes, “The chaotic end game to the negotiations could mean that world leaders only have time to hastily paper over a face-saving agreement.”
Among the sea of bleak COP15 stories about deadlock, the carbon footprint of the conference and the anticipation of ensuing conflict, Clinton’s announcement is a silver lining that helps us eek out a little hope that an ambitious and fair (or really any) agreement will come out of Copenhagen at the end of this week.