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1ST LEAD Bonn climate meeting draws to close with battle over money By Andrew McCathie, dpa

Europe
17.11.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Bonn, Germany (dpa) - Top-level talks on climate change in the western German city of Bonn entered their final hours on Friday as officials attending the two-week conference struggled to agree on the thorny question of funding efforts to tackle global warming.

Officials representing many nations, from major industrial powerhouses to tiny island states, have sought to establish an accord at the UN Climate Change Conference on how to finance necessary adaptions for poor countries to cope with global warming.

"This is one of the key issues for developed countries because they do not want to be forced to automatically spend money in supplying the funds over and over again," said Jan Kowalzig from the international charity group Oxfam.

German Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks on Friday declared the conference to have been a success.

The key aim of the meeting had been to give fresh momentum to implementing the 2015 Paris accord on reducing CO2 emissions after US President Donald Trump‘s move to withdraw from the landmark agreement.

Hendricks said the 195 states attending the conference had drafted rules to implement the Paris accord, including how CO2 emissions are to be measured and reported in the future.

"This is the spirit of Paris," said Hendricks on Friday with California‘s veteran governor Jerry Brown unofficially representing the United States at the meeting.

Berlin has co-hosted the Bonn conference with the Pacific island state of Fiji. Along with Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Marshall Islands, Fiji faces an existential threat from global warming as water levels rise.

Under the Paris agreement, signatory nations are committed to reducing global warming over the longer term to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Brown and his predecessor, former US action star Arnold Schwarzenegger, were also among the 23,000 delegates who attended the conference.

Schwarzenegger has emerged as a prominent critic of Trump‘s move announced in June to withdraw the US from the Paris accord unless there are major changes made to the deal.

Underlining Washington‘s isolation on climate change, Syria became the 196th nation to formally adopt the Paris accord this week, leaving the United States as the last UN member opposing it.

Ministers from poorer states attending the final days of the conference called on richer states to take action to avert a widening of the fallout from climate change.

"The selfishness of the powerful is a poison that makes the earth sick," declared Venezuela‘s eco-socialism and water minister.

The representative of Nicaragua, Paul Oquist, warned of what he said would be "migration of millions of people to the north" as a result of climate change.

On Thursday, Britain, Canada, Costa Rica, Mexico and several other states joined forces to form a coalition aimed at abandoning coal as a source of energy.

However, Germany was not part of the agreement as the issue forms part of the talks currently under way in Berlin to build a new coalition led by Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The next world climate change conference is to be in a year in Poland, where a rulebook for the implementation of the Paris accords are set to be finalized.

 

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