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Strong signal needed in Bonn

Countries will negotiate finance mechanisms for international climate protection over the next two weeks

Press release

>> German version

Bonn, March 29, 2009: A new study on "Funding Sources for International Climate Policy" points out that useful suggestions for finance mechanism have already been introduced - ranging from adapting to adverse impacts of climate change to technology transfer or forest protection in developing countries. The study is published by the environmental and developmental organisation Germanwatch and the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy at the beginning of the two week UN climate negotiations in Bonn. It compares and analyses seven separate proposals for financing mechanisms, by means of the criteria financial scale, political acceptance, and reliability of the financial flows. The goal of all the suggestions is to achieve common support by all states. The results show that switching from free distribution of national emission rights to auctioning or selling these rights is especially well suited to generating the necessary volume of finance.

"It is now important that the ideas that have been floating around as theories are put into place and concrete numbers are brought to the table. With the approach of selling emissions rights, it is especially important to expand it through levies on international shipping and aviation. We have a chance for a truly ambitious agreement in Copenhagen only if we move forwards with this step", Christoph Bals, Executive Director of Policy at Germanwatch, commented at the beginning of the negotiations.

As recent science findings indicate, global climate change is accelerating faster than expected. International action on climate protection is required now. "It is a dangerous course when countries start slowing each other down at this stage of the negotiations. We need to understand, that we all benefit of the opposite: Making each other contribute more ambitious ideas compared to the other countries" explains Sven Harmeling, co-author of the study and Senior Advisor Climate and Development at Germanwatch.

A sale or auction of emissions rights and the end of free allocation to individual states could achieve the two or three digit billion sums needed to co-finance adaptation to climate change, technology transfer and forest protection in developing countries. "It would also stay true to the 'polluter pays' principle, said Harmeling. At the past EU summit, the European Heads of State and Government declared their willingness to discuss such an instrument, but failed to include an amount they are willing to collect for financing in the final declaration. "We therefore expect sharp criticism of the EU's stance by developing nations", explains Harmeling.

It is expected with curiosity in which way the USA will signal their re-entry into the international climate negotiations in Bonn. "We don't really expect the USA to rejoin the negotiations with elaborated positions at this stage, due to the short-term period since President Obama was sworn into Office. What we do hope to see is a clear signal not only here in Bonn, but also at the G20 summit in London this week and during the newly launched Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate at the end of April, that serious engagement for climate protection goes along with fighting the economic crisis", said Christoph Bals.

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last updated 30 March 2009