U.N. urges quicker transfer of
green technology to poorer countries
Nov 7, 2008 - The Associated Press
U.N. climate chief Yvo de Boer said Friday it is
essential that industrialized countries speed up
the transfer of clean energy technology to poorer
ones to help tackle global warming.
De Boer, executive secretary of the U.N. Framework
Convention on Climate Change, said that if the world
wants to control global warming it is vital that
rich nations meet their obligations to give developing
nations access to cleaner forms of technology.
"A lot of talk has been about the targets (to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions), but not about
the means which will make it possible," he said.
"If international technology transfer happens,
countries like China will be able to take action
which is not affordable to them at the moment,"
De Boer's comments came at the start of a two-day
international conference in Beijing which will discuss
how to aid the transfer of technology -- such as
wind power, fuel cells and nuclear energy --from
richer to poorer nations.
Industrialized nations have already made commitments
to transfer technology to developing countries to
help them cut greenhouse gas emissions, but poorer
countries say little cash and help has so far been
The G77 group of developing nations, along with
China, have already suggested that rich countries
should pay 1 percent of their GDP into a fund to
pay for clean energy technology for poorer countries.
Switzerland has also suggested funding technology
transfer by levying a "carbon tax" per ton of greenhouse
gases produced by countries, with poorer nations
paying a lower rate than richer ones.
De Boer said that the process of negotiating a
climate change treaty to take over from the Kyoto
Protocol in 2012 will begin in earnest at a U.N.
conference on global warming to be held in Poznan
in Poland next month.
"If the world wants to keep climate change manageable
the global economy really needs a rapid transformation
to a green, low-emissions one. Such a transformation
is inconceivable without environmentally sound technologies
at its heart," he said.
"Given their historical responsibility for the
problem it is essential that industrialized countries
take the lead to reduce emissions and that they
show real leadership. With President-elect (Barack)
Obama, my hope is that the U.S. can take on a leadership
role and take the negotiations forward," he added.
China produced a policy document on climate change
last month, saying it will attempt to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, but that it needs the help of industrialized
countries by giving it clean energy technology.
A Chinese government official responsible for climate
change policy, Gao Guangsheng, also admitted that
the level of emissions produced by China is now
level with the world's biggest producer of greenhouse
gases -- the United States.
China says it is a developing country which relies
heavily on highly polluting coal for its energy
needs, so help from richer countries is essential.
The Chinese government has also previously ruled
out agreeing to any cap on its emissions in a future
climate change pact, saying that developed countries
should shoulder the biggest cuts while poorer nations
attempt to reduce emissions where they can.