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UN Chief Looks to Jump-Start Funding for Mitigating Global Warning

The U.N. Secretary-General has announced the establishment of a high-level advisory group charged with finding the billions of dollars needed to help developing countries lessen and adapt to the effects of climate change. Ban Ki-moon said Friday the group will be co-chaired by the Prime Ministers of Britain and Ethiopia.

The secretary-general said the panel's mission is to mobilize the financial resources for climate change pledged at the December climate conference in Copenhagen.

"Our goal is that the developing countries should be given $30 billion for the coming three years, until 2012 - that means $10 billion annually. Then after 2013, this will be significantly scaled up to $100 billion annually until 2020."

As part of its work, the group will develop practical proposals on how to scale-up long-term financing from both public and private sources to help developing countries lessen and adapt to the effects of global warming.

The panel will be co-chaired by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who joined Mr. Ban via video-link for the announcement. Mr. Ban said he would also be asking, among others, the president of Guyana and the prime minister of Norway to join the advisory group as representatives from the south and north.

The December climate conference ended without a legally binding agreement. But as Prime Minister Brown pointed out, if promises are met, it will set countries on a path to lessening global emissions.

"Despite the disappointments of not reaching a final agreement at Copenhagen, 92 countries have communicated support for the Copenhagen agreement. Sixty-six countries have set out their plans for climate change for their targets, covering over 80 percent of global emissions," he said.

The advisory panel will issue their recommendations for jump-starting financing when nations meet in Mexico in December at the next climate change summit.

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