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UPDATE: Harper should commit at least $3-billion a year for climate financing

Anil Naidoo and Brent Patterson arrive in Copenhagen.

Anil Naidoo and Brent Patterson departing Frankfurt for Copenhagen.

It’s now past 1:00 am and we have arrived safely in Frankfurt en route to Copenhagen.

What better time than now to comment on the issue of climate financing?

The Council of Canadians believes that a fair climate agreement means significant contributions to climate financing from global North countries – including Canada – to support the global South to transition to low carbon economies.

This would involve support for climate mitigation measures that reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, as well as adaptation measures for climate change impacts that now cannot be avoided.

Canada’s fair share of the global total of $100-billion a year for climate financing has been estimated to be at least $3-billion a year.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently agreed to a paltry $3-4 million a year for a ‘Copenhagen Launch Fund’, which will total $10-billion a year from Commonwealth countries by 2012.

It was also recently reported that Canada has contributed just under $50 million a year since 2000 for various climate-related projects in the developing world.

These amounts are well below the $3-billion a year required from Canada.

The Globe and Mail reported yesterday that, “Lumumba Di-Aping, the Sudanese diplomat who heads the developing countries negotiating bloc, derided the developed world’s proposal to provide poor countries with US$10-billion a year to fight climate change, saying it is meaningless compared with the fortunes Western governments have spent on bank bailouts.”

Or as a New Internationalist article recently put it, “in order for Majority World countries to deal with impacts of climate change and pursue their right to develop along a low carbon route, they need a serious amount of money. It’s a deal-breaker for them. Rich countries, have agreed, in theory to provide it. In practice, they are saying they can’t afford to, having blown all their spare cash on bank bailouts and war.”

While in Copenhagen the Council of Canadians will be making the demand that the Harper government commit to at least $3-billion a year to climate financing for the global South.