Broken Finance Promises Threaten to Break Climate Talks

US and EU blocking leads to "empty page" draft text

DOHA, Qatar – UN Climate talks remained blocked by the US and EU and other rich industrialised countries as they refused to discuss finance commitments, leading to an "empty page" proposal on the issue in a draft text circulating here.

Fiery negotiations continued after the Chair of the talks proposed a draft-text that included a blank, white page under the heading "finance", reflecting the push by rich industrialised countries to block progress on the issue.

"The empty-white page matches the climate finance pledges of developed countries under the UN climate convention. Empty in 2013. A big zero." Chee Yoke Ling, director of the Third World Network, a Malaysian based NGO providing detailed analysis of the talks, said.

"Several independent studies have shown that the previous round of climate finance promises weren't met. Previous promises were not entirely "new" nor "additional" to existing foreign aid and they did not meet the agreed level." Brandon Wu, climate campaigner at Action Aid International said.

"Those broken promises threaten to break the talks. If the US and others continue to refuse an agreement on new levels, on transparency and on sources then developing countries should consider walking away from the table completely." Mr Wu said.

Observers of the talks were also concerned that the future of the Green Climate Fund, a once-promising light in the negotiations, was now fading.

"Currently the Green Climate Fund stands empty of public dollars, with developed countries threatening to starve the Fund unless the private sector can have unfettered access." Janet Redman, a senior policy analyst at the U.S. based thinktank the Institute for Policy Studies, said.

"The Green Climate Fund, arguably the most significant concrete outcome from the 2011 Durban conference, was meant for the people who are most impacted by climate change, not big business or Wall Street." Ms Redman, said.

"Developed countries must fulfill their promise to fill the Fund." Ms Redman, said.

The talks are scheduled to continue until Friday, however the level of acrimony in the halls suggests they may continue into Saturday and that developed country Ministers may continue to block the possibility of a comprehensive outcome.

Action Aid International is an international organisation, working with over 15 million people in 45 countries for a world free from poverty and injustice.

The Third World Network is a Malaysian-based independent non-profit international network of organisations and individuals involved in issues relating to development, developing countries and North-South affairs.

The Institute for Policy Studies, based in Washington D.C. has served as a policy and research resource for visionary social justice movements for over four decades.

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