April 1, 2010 - High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing, co-chaired by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, started first meeting in London, reports Reuters. The panel has been tasked with creating practical proposals to raise funds for poor countries' strategies to curb greenhouse emissions, shift to low-carbon development and adapt to climate change.
The group of 19 experts includes Norway's prime minister, Guyana's president, U.S. President Barack Obama's economic policy adviser Lawrence Summers, top British academic Nicholas Stern and financier George Soros, as well as officials from India, China, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.
Stern described the London gathering as "the most significant climate meeting since Copenhagen," referring to December's U.N. climate talks which resulted in the Copenhagen Accord on fighting global warming but failed to produce a new, legally binding treaty.
More than 110 countries have now signed up to the accord, which commits wealthy nations to providing $30 billion for tackling climate change in developing countries by 2012, and $100 billion a year by 2020 in public and private funding, including "alternative sources of finance." Ban Ki-Moon's advisory group is expected to issue "initial outputs" before a two-week U.N. climate negotiating session starting at the end of May, and to submit a final report by November, which will feed into the major U.N. talks in Cancun, Mexico, beginning at the end of that month.
The panel may look at fresh sources of income including carbon taxes, revenues from auctioning emissions allowances, taxes on financial transactions, aviation and shipping, and the use of government assets held with the International Monetary Fund to raise money in the bond markets.