Obama Trapped: Poor Nations Demand $200 Billion Per Year

  • Date: 10/12/09

AFP: Poor countries on Thursday challenged Barack Obama as he received his Nobel prize to steer the US back into the Kyoto Protocol and help free up 200 billion dollars in funds to fight climate change.

“That’s the challenge that President Obama needs to rise to. This is what we expect from him as a Nobel prize winner,” said Lumumba Stanislas Dia-Ping of Sudan, representing 130 countries in a bloc called the Group of 77 and China.

“This is what we expect from him as one of the advocates of new multilateralism,” Dia-Ping told reporters at the UN climate talks.

“That is what we expect of him as someone who is a member of both the developed and developing world — his extended family, his brothers, his cousins, his uncles are still in that continent (Africa) of which he is proud to be a member.”

Dia-Ping urged the United States to return to the Kyoto Protocol, which Washington helped design as a framework agreement in 1997 but then abandoned in 2001.

He described it as “an equitable and just deal that would save the planet” and urgently needed the presence of the United States.

On Wednesday, however, US chief negotiator Todd Stern ruled out any return to Kyoto.

“We are certainly not going to become part of the Kyoto Protocol… that’s not on the table.”

Dia-Ping also called on the United States to help free up 200 billion dollars in special drawing rights in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that, he said, could be used to address the threat of climate change.

“You approve billions of dollars in defence budgets. Can’t you approve 200 billion dollars to save the world?”, Dia-Ping asked.

In 2001, then-president George W. Bush said he would refuse to ratify Kyoto on the grounds that it was too costly for the US economy, and unfair as its legally-binding provisions for curbing carbon emissions apply only to rich economies, not developing countries.

Copyright 2009, AFP

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