Report appeals for new emissions tactics

08:51, November 10, 2009      

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A new report on climate change by the World Bank urges nations to employ innovative market-based measures to make up for the huge shortfall of funds needed to combat global warming.

But Zhang Wencai, deputy director of the international cooperation department with the Ministry of Finance, said developing countries cannot solely rely on the private sector to make up for their lack of funds needed to adapt to climate change.

"The technology-sharing mechanism proposed by the report, in which rich countries work to develop new solutions, while developing countries pay for a research fund, is also inconsistent with the principle of the United Nations Framework of Climate Change Convention," Zhang said.

Zhang said that the report steers clear from the principle of China's policy of "common but differentiated responsibilities" and urged rich countries to be accountable for their carbon emissions.

The report estimates that by 2030, $75 billion will be needed annually for adapting to global warming and $400 billion for reducing carbon emissions. Developing new technologies could require an additional $100 billion to $700 billion per year.

Reforming of existing carbon markets, levying carbon taxes and setting global trading schemes for emission rights are recommended as effective measures to fill the financing gap, the report states.

Justin Yifu Lin, chief economist with the World Bank, said developing countries will take on 75 to 80 percent of the potential impacts induced by global warming.

"People from developing worlds are in desperate need of help in dealing with droughts, floods and rising sea levels," Lin said. "They also need guidance to tackle malnutrition and the spread of diseases, as well as a build-up of facilities to ward off global warming."

The current total climate finance for developing countries is $10 billion per year, said Rosina Bierbaum, co-director of the World Development Report 2010.

Zhou Dadi, a veteran energy research expert in China, said putting a price on carbon is a good way to reduce emissions, but relying too much on an energy-pricing system will make expected goals unreachable.

"If there is a significant increase in energy prices, the poor will not be able to afford it, but the rich, who use more energy, will be less affected," Zhou said.

The report was released less than a month ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

At a meeting of finance ministers and central bankers from the Group of 20 leading economies, held over the last weekend, little progress was achieved in sorting out the thorny issue of how rich countries should help poorer nations, except for an agreement to increase the research fund.

Source:China Daily
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