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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday the world would likely not be able to reach agreement on climate change-related actions without first striking a deal on climate financing. Addressing the Seventh African Development Forum (ADF-VII), which is dedicated to climate change, he said it would, however, be 'challenging' for developed countries to honour a pledge made at Copenhagen last year to raise US$100 billion annually to finance climate adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries.

He said new contributors to the fund, including the private sector, must be enlisted to ensure the target is met.

'It will be challenging, but it is possible to reach the US$100 billion target. To reach this goal, we need a combination of different sources, both new and existing,' Stoltenberg said.

'I would in particular mention the issue of carbon pricing. Funding that come from pricing emissions in developed countries are probably the most promising. They both provide incentives for reducing emissions in developed countries and they represent a huge potential source for mobilizing economic resources for climate actions in developing countries,' he noted.

But he warned: 'Without agreement on climate financing, there will be no agreement on climate actions.'

He said a High Level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing set up by the UN Secretary General, which he co-chairs with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, would submit a report on possible climate financing to the UN Secretary General next month.

But Stoltenberg said the report was not a blue-print on climate financing, and had been compiled after painstaking negotiations to reconcile sharply divergent viewpoints.

'I believe this report represents an important step forward. We have managed to work constructively together to find compromises on many difficult issues,' he said. 'We have managed to reconcile different perspectives.'

Stoltenberg said climate change had been most devastating to developing countries, particularly in Africa, and yet these nations were least responsible for global warming.

He called on developed countries not to 'leave Africa to deal with the consequences of global warming on its own.'

'Global warming is unfair. Poor countries did not cause climate change. Rich countries did, but all countries, rich and poor, will be affected,' he said.

'However, it is the most vulnerable, the poorest countries and peoples, those who have contributed the least to climate change who will suffer the most,' he noted.

But Stoltenberg said deforestation in Africa and other parts of the developing world was rising, and threatened to increase their share of greenhouse gas emissions.

He said this needed to be reversed urgently because thriving forests 'provide the largest, the fastest and the cheapest cuts in global emissions.'

'Deforestation in the developing world contributes about 15 percent of total global emissions, more than all the world's ships, cars, trains and planes together,' he said.

'Africa's forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate, with over four million hectares lost each year. Forests are nature's very own carbon capture and storage facility,' he added.

But Stoltenberg said Africa needed financial and other assistance to halt and reverse deforestation, and his country was taking the lead in this regard, hosting a conference early this year to mobile global funding for this effort.

'Developed countries must provide adequate, predictable and sustainable funding based on results,' he said.



Extpub | by Dr. Radut