Germany to earmark a quarter of climate revenues for poorer countries

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"If we don’t make funds for adaptation and technology available, the developing countries will not be ready to join in," the climate change fight Gabriel said, according to Reuters.

Gabriel told reporters that the amount Germany will henceforth set aside will equal about EUR 120 million or more depending on the price of CO2 emissions permits, which will go a long way toward bringing poorer nations into the fold of the fight on global climate change.

The European Union’s emissions trading system sets limits on the amount of CO2 that energy intensive businesses may emit. Those plants covered by the scheme need to have permits for all their CO2 emissions. While most of these permits are handed out for free by governments, from 2008 European states will have the right to auction up to 10 percent of the emissions permits.

“We applaud Germany’s pledge. It shows that it is possible to earmark government revenues from the auctioning of CO2 emission permits. This sends a very important signal,” Bellona’s senior policy adviser Paal Frisvold said.

“Now other rich nations should follow suit. There are many excellent projects that could help developing countries in their efforts against climate change. The challenge is to fund them,” he added.

Bellona believes carbon capture and storage (CCS) will be a key wedge in the fight against climate change, particularly for coal-rich emerging economies like China and India. A full-scale demonstration of CCS for coal-fired power plants will cost several hundred million euros. Initial commitments by the European Union to help finance CCS in China have so far come to nothing.

“We hope that this pledge by Germany will help unlock the situation and that other Member States will join in financing a full-scale CCS demonstration plant in China,” Frisvold said.