NEW DELHI - FOUR nations led by China pledged on Sunday to meet an end-month deadline to submit action plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions and challenged rich countries to come up with funding to help fight global warming.
Environment ministers and envoys from Brazil, South Africa, India and China met in New Delhi in a show of unity by countries whose greenhouse gas emissions are among the fastest rising in the world. The bloc was key to brokering a political agreement at the Copenhagen talks in December and its meeting in India was designed in part to put pressure on richer nations to make good on funding commitments.
'We have sent a very powerful symbol to the world of our intentions,' the Indian Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said at a joint press conference after seven hours of talks.
The group discussed setting up a climate fund to help nations most vulnerable to the impact of global warming, which it said would act as a wakeup call for wealthier countries to meet their pledges on financial assistance and give US$10 billion (S$14 billion) in 2010.
Rich countries have pledged US$30 billion in climate change funding for the 2010-12 period and set a goal of US$100 billion by 2020, far less than what developing countries had wanted.
The group in New Delhi said releasing US$10 billion this year would send a signal of the rich countries' commitment. The four said they were in talks to set up an independent fund for the same purpose, but gave no timeline or figure. 'When we say we will be reinforcing technical support as well as funds to the most vulnerable countries, we are giving a slap in the face to the rich countries,' Brazil's Environment Minister Carlos Minc said through a translator. -- REUTERS