Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 11th 2014 Contents DECEMBER 2014 • WEEK TWO www.guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
INTERNATIONAL | BG21
The momentum from a historic US-China
pact to resist global warming is showing
signs of fading at UN climate talks as the
familiar rich-poor conflict persists over who
should do what to keep the planet from
Last month s joint emissions pledges by
Presidents Xi Jinping and Barack Obama
spurred hopes for a global climate deal a
year from now in Paris. But heading into
the second half of the December 1-12 Lima
talks, China and the US remain on opposing
sides on a series of vital issues.
Time remains to work things out; envi-
ronment ministers are just starting to arrive.
The conference s high-level phase begins
Some main areas of discord:
--- The rulebook
Governments must agree on what infor-
mation they should be obliged to provide
in the greenhouse gas-reduction pledges
they make for the Paris agreement. The end
of March is the UN-set deadline for sub-
mitting pledges, though many countries
including China have said they may need
The US and other developed countries
want contributions to be focused on slashing
or curbing emissions of carbon dioxide and
other heat-trapping gases.
They are resisting demands from devel-
oping countries including China and India---
the world s No 1 and No 3 greenhouse gas
polluters---to add financial commitments to
help poorer countries tackle climate change.
A fight also has also erupted over whether
to establish a review process so emissions
targets can be analysed and compared ahead
The US and the European Union want a
review but China, which has never before
been required to take any climate action in
the UN talks, has opposed that in Lima.
--- Give me five or ten?
The Paris agreement would take effect in
2020 but it s not clear what period the initial
emissions-reduction pledges would cover.
The US is pushing for a five-year commit-
ment period and has already set its target
The European Union favours a 10-year
span and has set its target for 2030. China
also backs a 10-year period.
Brazil has proposed a hybrid: Countries
give firm five-year targets and "indicative"
Unless countries agree on a common
commitment period they will be out of step
with one another and comparing their targets
will be more complicated.
--- Show me the money
As usual, much time in Lima has been
spent arguing about money. Rich countries
long ago pledged to help poor countries
limit emissions and cope with rising sea
levels, droughts, floods and other impacts
of climate change. In 2009 they agreed to
commit US$100 billion annually by 2020.
But the financing so far isn t close to that
level and poor countries say they need the
A new Green Climate Fund reached US$10
billion in pledges this week; including US$3
billion from the US Developing countries
including China, which is not a contributor,
say that is far too little given the urgent
need for immediate action. Some scientific
models say greenhouse emissions need to
halt by mid-century or damage from climate
change could be irreversible.
---The blame game
The Paris agreement is supposed to be
"applicable to all," unlike the 1997 Kyoto
emissions treaty, which required only devel-
oped countries to take action to fight climate
change. For everyone else, it was voluntary.
The US, EU and other rich countries want
to tear down a 1992 firewall that divides
the world into developed and developing
countries. The latter, from oil-rich Gulf
states to the poorest of Africa, are in no
hurry to remove the firewall because it makes
clear that developed countries are more
responsible than they for climate change.
The issue is among the most difficult in
the UN talks and not likely to be resolved
in Lima. AP
BRUSSELS---French banks may be the biggest
contributors to the euro zone s bank resolution
fund, with those from Germany a very close
second, under one option of calculating the
amounts due in 2015-2024, a European Com-
mission paper prepared for finance ministers
The Single Resolution Fund (SRF), to which
all euro zone banks will contribute, is intended
to finance the winding down of failed institutions
so that taxpayers no longer have to bear the bur-
Ministers are due to decide between four
methods of calculating the euro zone banks
contributions later on Monday.
The SRF is to be filled gradually from the
banks contributions and to reach its full size,
equal to 1.0 per cent of all deposits of up to
100,000 euros in euro zone banks, in 2024.
The commission paper put that total at 55.70
billion euros (43.85 billion pounds).
Under one of the four methods of calculating
contributions, French banks would contribute
15.479 billion euros to the fund from 2015 to
2024, while German financial institutions would
pay 15.352 billion, the Commission paper seen
by Reuters showed.
The two biggest euro zone economies would
thus together finance more than 55 per cent of
Under that option, Italy, the third biggest euro
zone economy, would contribute 5.825 billion
euros, Spain 5.356 billion and the Netherlands
4.219 billion. Ireland would pay 1.84 billion,
Greece only 629 million and Cyprus 113.8 mil-
The smallest contribution would come from
Estonia: 23 million euros.
Under a second method of calculation the
contributions of France and Germany would be
virtually the same. Under the remaining two,
Germany would pay in marginally more than
The options differ very slightly, according to
the amounts smaller banks would contribute
and assessments for the transition year 2015.
France, Germany to pay
lion's share of euro
bank resolution fund
Sticky issues re-emerge
at UN climate talks
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