No Deal Yet in Copenhagen, But US Announces Aid of 100 billion by 2020
The United States tried to break a deadlock in UN climate talks on Thursday with a pledge to help mobilize $100 billion a year by 2020 to assist poor nations, but pointedly warned China it must accept tough requirements.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the dramatic announcement with less than two days remaining for an international summit aimed at reducing global emissions of carbon dioxide pollution linked to climate change. Some world leaders were voicing fears the talks could end in failure.
"We have come to Copenhagen ready to take the steps necessary to achieve a comprehensive and an operational new agreement," Clinton said at a press conference.
China, which will be key to the success of the Copenhagen summit, responded favorably to Clinton's announcement.
"I think the financial issue is very important. Whatever initiative these countries will announce is a good step," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister He Yafei told Reuters when asked about the announcement.
The long-term aid from rich countries has been a key demand of developing countries, especially the poorest ones who are most threatened by rising sea levels and have the fewest resources to battle weather-related problems.
The United States, EU, Japan and other developed countries also are expected to get behind "quick-start funds" to help poor countries between now and 2012. That money could total $10 billion or so a year.
The $100 billion a year long-term fund is far less than some African countries have demanded, but it appeared to be the most the Obama administration could garner political support for.
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