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US support for $100 billion Global Climate Fund shows consensus is emerging

17 December 2009

Update (December 18):  The Climate Group, US business leaders get behind this commitment. Click here to read more.

December 17, 2009 - Today in Copenhagen, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced that the US would contribute to the $100 billion per year needed by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change.
The announcement sent a tremor through the already turbulent Bella Center, where international negotiations on a climate accord are set to conclude tomorrow. The $100 billion figure is in line with what other parties, like the EU, have called for, showing that a consensus among developed countries on the overall financing amount is emerging. 

Steve Howard, CEO of The Climate Group says: "Hillary Clinton's $100bn commitment is not about giving away tax-payer money, but about securing an effective global deal. It will lock in both the developed and developing world and give certainty and confidence to the international market and to US businesses that climate policy is coming. The businesses we work with in the US and elsewhere want clear signals from government leaders so they can scale up investments and create the green jobs, products and services, we all need to address climate change and grow the economy."

Jeffrey Swartz, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Timberland Company and member of The Climate Group's international coalition of business leaders said: "We support the US commitment to contribute to the $100 billion per year needed by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions and adapt to climate change because it is exactly what is needed to create a truly global effort to solve climate change.  It represents real leadership on behalf of the US."
"This has the potential to be a breakthrough on the financing issue," said Evan Juska, The Climate Group's Senior US Policy Manager.  "To meet that potential, tomorrow's agreement will need to include details on exactly how the money will be raised and how it will be delivered."
Secretary Clinton also said that the US would contribute to a Fast Start Fund that will provide about $10 billion/year over the next three years to help build the institutional capacity needed to implement an agreement, as well accelerating action on adaptation, deforestation and cutting emissions. She made clear that US support was contingent on an international agreement in which all major economies stand behind meaningful mitigation actions and provide full transparency as to their implementation.
That all the major economies have the ability to monitor and report their emissions and actions is essential for a successful agreement, Juska added.  That's why building countries capacity to measure, report and verify their reductions through a Fast Start Fund is so essential.
Clinton did not indicate how much of the $100 billion the US would provide - a decision that must ultimately be approved by the US Congress
Getting this through Congress will be a challenge. The next step for all countries will now be to translate the commitments they have made into enforceable national policies.

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