UN: Rich Must Pay for Climate Change

2nd March 2007
News web pic 2_114.jpg
Aid to countries such as Bangladesh and the Sahel region must double if rich nations want to curb global climate change the United Nations top development official has said.

‘If donors are not willing to think in these orders of magnitude, I am pessimistic,’ said Kemal Dervis, head of the UN Development Programme. He added that the $100bn in financial assistance to ‘developing countries’ would need to increase each year by 50 to 100 per cent.

His comments come as Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, contemplates options for a global summit to tackle climate change. UN officials said several plans were on the table but details were not yet decided.

‘A very big global deal has to be made,’ said Mr Dervis, adding that coming to terms would require facing difficult questions over ‘who pays the costs and who gets the benefits’. He likened the coming debate to global negotiations on trade quotas and tariffs.

He claimed the situation was further complicated by the fact that those countries that would be worse affected, such as Bangladesh, contribute little to global emissions so could not benefit financially from the rich countries favourite market mechanism of carbon trading.

The UNDP's next Human Development Report, to be released in November ahead of UN climate talks this December in Bali, will focus on the economics of climate change.

This article first appeared in the Ecologist March 2007


The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate now.