U.S. Pledges Support for "jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020" for Climate Change Needs of Developing Countries

In remarks at the international climate change negotiations in Copenhagen, Denmark, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said today (17 December 2009) that "the United States is prepared to work with other countries toward a goal of jointly mobilizing $100 billion a year by 2020 to address the climate change needs of developing countries. We expect this funding will come from a wide variety of sources, public and private, bilateral and multilateral, including alternative sources of finance. This will include a significant focus on forestry and adaptation, particularly, again I repeat, for the poorest and most vulnerable among us." 

Responding to Secretary Clinton’s 100 billion dollar surprise," WWF President and CEO Carter Roberts said it "breathes new life into the sputtering negotiations.  It bridges the needs of the developed and developing worlds and changes the game in these global talks.  All that remains is an agreement between the US and China about how they will define transparency, and a commitment by President Obama to make climate legislation his top priority for the new year.” 

In her remarks (see video above and transcript), Clinton said that "...the time is at hand for all countries to reach for common ground and take an historic step that we can all be proud of." She added that "there should be no doubt about the commitment of the United States to reaching a successful agreement here in Copenhagen and meeting this great global challenge together."

In her initial remarks, Clinton made it clear that "standards of transparency that provide credibility to the entire process" were essential to a successful outcome in the negotiations.  In response to subsequent questions, Clinton added in reference to China that:

"It would be hard to imagine, speaking for the United States, that there could be the level of financial commitment that I have just announced in the absence of transparency from the ... the first biggest emitter, and now nearly -- if not already --  the second biggest economy."

In response to another question, Clinton elaborated:

"...we have presented and discussed numerous approaches to transparency with a number of countries and there are many ways to achieve transparency that would be credible and acceptable. But there has to be a willingness to move toward transparency in whatever form we finally determine is appropriate. So, if there is not even a commitment to pursue transparency, that’s kind of a dealbreaker for us. In the absence of transparency of some sort - and I am not going to prescribe from this podium exactly what it must be - but there has to be a commitment to transparency. We’ve said it consistently. As I just referenced, there have been occasions in this past year when all the major economies have committed to transparency. Now that we are trying to define what transparency means and how we would both implement it and observe it, there is a backing away from transparency. And, you know, that to us is something that undermines the whole effort that we’re engaged in."

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