Darling fears climate talks will drag like Doha
LONDON (Reuters) - Climate change talks risk dragging on in the same way as world trade negotiations, Chancellor Alistair Darling said Wednesday, urging the G20 to agree next month on funds to help tackle global warming.
Darling said the focus for a meeting of finance ministers from the G20 group of developed and emerging economies in Scotland on November 6 and 7 should also be on ensuring the world economy recovers from the downturn in a sustainable fashion.
"We really do have to make a go of it in St. Andrews," Darling told Reuters in an interview.
"The thing I'm really worried about is that we must avoid getting into a situation like we did with the Doha trade round. We can't get into that situation with climate change."
Environment ministers meet in Copenhagen in December hoping to agree action that would reduce the impact of global warming, but talks have stalled over who should curb emissions by what amount and climate finance aimed at helping poorer countries.
The Doha round of world trade talks, launched in 2001 with the aim of helping poor countries improve their economic prosperity through reducing trade barriers, has turned into the longest set of multilateral trade talks in history.
G20 leaders have said they want Doha to conclude by the end of 2010, but analysts are sceptical because several similar pledges have come to nothing.
"There's a long way to go yet (on climate change) and a lot of reasons to be cautious but all the more reason to show determination," Darling said, adding it was "essential" that G20 finance ministers should agree an approach to climate finance.
Darling says 100 billion euros a year by 2020 is needed to help developing nations cope with global warming.
He has urged the European Union and the U.S. to give 10 billion euros each to the fund, with 1 billion euros coming from Britain, as part of 30 billion euro direct aid package from richer nations.
Fifty billion euros could be sourced from carbon markets, he says, and the rest of the funds should come from big emerging nations such as China.
But talks stumbled Tuesday when European Union finance ministers failed to agree funds for poor countries.
An impasse among finance ministers from the 27-nation EU means the issue of EU aid to developing countries -- a sticking point in talks on a U.N. pact to fight global warming due in December -- will be passed on to an EU summit on October 29 and 30, just before the G20 finance ministers meet.
Darling said it was also important that economic support packages should be kept in place and fully implemented around the world until it was clear the recession was over.
Evidence of growth in some larger, recession-hit economies earlier this year has fuelled fears of that complacency among some policymakers could result in stimulus measures being withdrawn too soon, endangering the recovery.
Darling said the G20 finance ministers should endeavour to reach an "agreement on supporting growth in future."
(Editing by Mike Peacock)
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