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UN advisory group on climate change submits report

Three weeks ahead of the Cancun Climate Change Conference, a high-level UN advisory group has presented a report with suggestions to come up with $100 billion a year by 2020, including tax on international flights, for poor countries to combat global warming.

world Updated: Nov 06, 2010 15:33 IST

Three weeks ahead of the Cancun Climate Change Conference, a high-level UN advisory group has presented a report with suggestions to come up with $100 billion a year by 2020, including tax on international flights, for poor countries to combat global warming.

The 21-member advisory group is co-chaired by Prime Ministers Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and Jens Stoltenberg of Norway. The group was set up in February and includes Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia, philanthropist George Soros and British academic Nicholas Stern.

"The Advisory Group has given us a path. It is now up to Governments to consider the options and to act," UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told journalists.

"This is not about charity. It is about doing the right thing for those who are suffering most from a crisis that they did least to cause," he said.

Financing could come from different private and public sources, according to the report, which also recommended a hike in taxes for carbon emissions.

Some of the possible revenue sources, according to the group, are - a tax or trading system for fuel emissions of international airliners and merchant ships, or a fee on air tickets, with a potential for $10 billion a year and a levy on foreign-exchange transactions which could raise $10 billion.

"Careful and wise use of public funds in combination with private funds can generate truly transformational investments," it said.

The panel suggested that carbon pricing in the range of $20-25 per tonne of CO2 equivalent in 2020, carbon emission allowances and domestic carbon taxes in developed countries could potentially mobilise around $30 billion annually.

The report also said $10 billion annually could be raised from carbon pricing international transportation and up to $10 billion could be mobilised from other instruments, such as the redeployment of fossil fuel subsidies in developed countries or some form of financial transaction tax.

"Without an agreement on finance we won't reach an agreement on climate," said Stoltenberg.

Key elements of the Copenhagen Accord, agreed to at the climate meeting in 2009, included a limit 2 degree rise of global temperature, $100 billion in long term finance to developing countries and $30 billion to short-term finance to the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

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