U.S. offers climate carrot — with strings

December 17, 2009 at 10:12 AM 1 comment

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton sought to put new life into flagging U.N. climate talks Thursday by announcing the U.S. would join others in raising $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poorer nations cope with global warming.

But the $100 billion figure, the first offered by Washington in discussions here over long-term climate aid financing, is far less than what some nations suggest will be needed. Yvo de Boer, U.N. climate chief, said talks would focus on the “adequacy” of that target.

Moreover, Clinton made the offer contingent on the 193-nation conference reaching a broader agreement, including on the issue of “transparency” — demanding a Chinese commitment to allow some kind of oversight to verify its actions to control emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Without that, Clinton told reporters, “there will not be the kind of concerted global action that we so desperately need.”

China followed by saying it is willing to provide explanations and clarification on its actions to control carbon emissions, going some way to meeting the U.S. demands.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei said Beijing is ready for “dialogue and cooperation that is not intrusive that does not infringe on China’s sovereignty.”

Clinton’s arrival and announcement in snowy Copenhagen ratcheted up the U.S.-Chinese diplomatic dueling that has marked the two weeks of talks. The negotiations end Friday with a summit gathering of President Barack Obama, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and more than 110 other national leaders.

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Entry filed under: Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Green Help, National News. Tags: , , , , , .

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