Environment Minister Peter Kent has announced Canada’s latest round of funding to support climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts in developing countries.
Making the announcement from Doha, Qatar, where he participated in the UN Climate Change Conference, Kent said in a statement that the financing provides “concrete help for some of the most vulnerable countries and is reducing greenhouse gas emissions through investments in climate-friendly growth.”
The financing provides ‘concrete help for some of the most vulnerable countries.’
— Environment Minister Peter Kent
The funding is part of Canada’s fast-start financing commitment outlined in the 2009 Copenhagen Accord. Under the commitment, Canada and other industrialized countries agreed to provide funds to developing economies to help them reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
The total committed financing from all developed nations toward the program is close to $30 billion, with Canada’s portion set at $1.2 billion. Canada has been contributing approximately $400 million a year since 2010 toward the program.
In the latest round of funding, Canada is committing $75 million to support the Catalyst Fund, an international fund that invests in venture capital and private equity in developing countries in the areas of renewable energy, energy efficiency, water, agriculture, and forestry.
Canada is also providing $76 million to the Asian Development Bank to establish a fund for the private sector in Asia encouraging investment in climate change projects in Asia.
Another $16.5 million is being committed to the UN Development Program to help the least developed countries adapt to the adverse effects of climate change.
The lion’s share of Canada’s contributions in the 2010/11 and 2011/12 funding have gone to global programs as well as programs in Latin America and the Caribbean, followed by programs in Africa, Asia, and to a smaller scale Central Asia and Eastern Europe, respectively.
In its recommendation for the 2012 federal budget, Oxfam Canada urged the government to look into increasing its contribution to global climate financing as the end of the fast-track period approaches.
The international aid organization also asked Ottawa to increase transparency and report its annual climate financing contributions to Parliament.
The Kyoto Protocol, which was to expire at the end of 2012, was extended to 2020 at the Qatar conference, although weakened by the withdrawal of Canada, Japan, and Russia.
Critics say the Doha package of decisions, known as the Doha Climate Gateway, doesn’t even come close to meeting recommendations by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for tougher action to head off more weather extremes caused by global warming.
‘The Science is Unclear’
Meanwhile, 134 scientists from around the world have written an open letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asking him to “acknowledge that policy actions by the UN, or by the signatory nations to the UNFCCC, that aim to reduce CO2 emissions are unlikely to exercise any significant influence on future climate.”
“There is no sound reason for the costly, restrictive public policy decisions proposed at the UN climate conference in Qatar. Rigorous analysis of unbiased observational data does not support the projections of future global warming predicted by computer models now proven to exaggerate warming and its effects,” the letter reads.
The scientists pointed out that data recently released by the U.K. Met Office shows that there has been no statistically significant global warming for almost 16 years.
“Global warming that has not occurred cannot have caused the extreme weather of the past few years,” the letter states.
“Whether, when, and how atmospheric warming will resume is unknown. The science is unclear. Some scientists point out that near-term natural cooling, linked to variations in solar output, is also a distinct possibility,” the letter adds, noting that the fallout from global cooling would be worse than from warming.
Tom Harris, executive director of the Ottawa-based International Climate Science Coalition, says future climate talks should focus on preparation for and adaption to climate change, “not vainly trying to stop it.”
“Governments must re-examine climate change science before considering further, more concrete commitments in the United Nations negotiating process,” Harris said in a release.
“The climate scare has been fuelled largely by computer-generated representations that bear little relationship to the real world. Governments must divert the billions of dollars being wasted trying to stop climate change towards the real concerns of society.”
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