The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
Give US $60 Billion or Your Planet Is Toast!

Developing countries are threatening to kill climate talks in Doha, the FT reports:

The talks in the Qatari capital of Doha are entering their final five days. But they risk collapse, according to some negotiators, unless developed countries formally agree to pledge as much as $60bn in fresh funding by 2015.

If the negotiators fail to reach an agreement in Doha, some say it could unravel the fragile accord wrung out at the last minute at last year’s UN talks in Durban, South Africa, to finalise a new global climate pact by 2015 that would enter force by 2020.

At the 2009 climate talks in Copenhagen, the U.S. and other wealthy countries pledged $100 billion in aid to poorer ones, many of them island nations vulnerable to rising sea levels. Now the developing countries are worried that the cash might peter out:

“These are not idle threats, these are serious demands,” said Tim Gore of Oxfam, an experienced observer of the UN talks. “Developing countries are determined this year they won’t leave without knowing that finance levels will go up and not down from 2013.”

This would likely involve billions of dollars in U.S. funding per year, every year, until the end of time. It will be fun to watch the debates over that appropriation in Congress.

Poor countries endangered by rising tides and other effects of global warming think the first world should pay to protect them, and that’s not entirely unreasonable. But with little to show for the aid already sent, and little reason to think that more will help, American taxpayers aren’t exactly chomping at the bit to meet their demands. Via Meadia suspects this round of climate talks will follow the Copenhagen conference and its sorry successors into the dustbin of hopeless green initiatives.

Published on December 3, 2012 3:30 pm