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UN draft paper looks at fund options

Move to tax financial transactions to raise money for a $100b a year capital to help weaker nations not in document

Gulf News

Durban: Taxes on financial transactions, part of a $100 billion (Dh370 billion) fund for climate change projects, were not present in a draft document of a major working group released yesterday, raising questions about how the fund's coffers will be filled.

The draft negotiating text is the first major paper produced from the UN talks among nearly 200 nations that started last week in the South African port city of Durban.

A foreign exchange transaction tax has been floated as a stable way to fill the fund by shifting some responsibility from governments, whose policies can change. The fund is intended to reach at least $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries most affected by the warming planet.

Other proposals still on the table include shipping and aviation taxes.

"There is actually a real danger that the money is falling out of the text," said Tove Ryding, a climate campaigner for Greenpeace.

The draft negotiating text that applies to all parties in the UN talks lists options on various points that will be used for discussions when more senior envoys and ministers arrive this week. The talks are slated to end on December 9.

UN envoys called the text a "snapshot" of where the talks are after a week.

For example, the text lists three options for filling the $100 billion a year fund that range from going beyond the original goal more quickly to "[providing] ongoing support ... to address the urgent and immediate needs of developing countries that are particularly vulnerable," without mentioning a specific monetary goal.