14 Dec 2008

Developing nations want help on global warming

5:10 pm on 14 December 2008

Developing nations say rich countries are not providing enough funds to help them cope with the effects of global warming.

A United Nations climate change conference in Poland has ended with little formal progress made.

Developing nations said agreement on the Adaptation Fund - worth just $80 million - was a bad omen at the halfway mark in two years of negotiations towards a new treaty designed to be agreed in Copenhagen at the end of 2009 to fight global warming.

But Western nations say they are encouraged by the measures agreed on at the summit, including more funds for poorer nations to adapt to climate change.

But nations such as Tuvalu say they need access to funds to help cope with rising seas that could wipe them off the map.

An Indian government advisor at the summit, Dr Prodipto Ghosh, criticised the lack of progress saying "that this is one of the saddest moments I have witnessed in all these years."

"In the face of the unbearable human tragedy that we in the developing countries see unfolding every day this is nothing but callousness, strategising and obfuscation" he said.

Environment ministers at the talks in Poland set rules for the Adaptation Fund, which is meant to help poor nations build flood defences, develop drought-resistant crops, and produce storm warnings.

The fund, among few points agreed at the meeting, has just $80 million but could rise to $300 million a year by 2012.

The developing nations accused the rich of blocking talks on wider funding. The issue was delayed until 2009.

U.N. projections are that poor nations will need tens of billions of dollars a year by 2030 to cope with climate change.

Poland spent 24 million euros just to host the December 1-12 conference.