Climate talks inch ahead on aid despite discord

PANAMA CITY, October 8, 2011 (AFP) – Climate negotiators said Friday they made progress on laying out ways to help poor countries but deep differences remained on core issues ahead of a make-or-break talks in South Africa. With scientists warning that the planet is far behind on meeting pledges to control climate change, officials from around the world held a week of talks in Panama City to float ideas before the Durban conference opens on November 28.

UN climate chief Christiana Figueres said that the talks made “good progress” and pointed to technical work on the shape of a Green Climate Fund that will assist the poorest nations seen as worst impacted by climate change.

Figueres acknowledged a “rough start” on the issue, as developing nations accused the United States and other major donors of blocking discussion on how to raise the $100 billion a year promised for the fund by 2020.

But a draft text produced in Panama City for governments’ review reiterates the $100 billion figure and says most will come from public money. It leaves open the idea of a levy on airline and shipping emissions to raise revenue.

The Panama talks “made clear progress on how efforts to limit emissions by developing countries