Early Warning System Aims to Prevent Famine
Early Warning System Aims to Prevent Famine

Negotiators from 192 nations are in Copenhagen trying to hammer out a global warming treaty that balances the economic concerns of rich nations with the demands of developing countries, who say they would suffer most from a warmer planet.

One NGO says putting more money on the table could mean the difference between success and failure at the climate change conference in Copenhagen. 

Hugh Cole, a climate change advisor for Oxfam International, says there are three key components for a strong and fair climate change deal in Copenhagen.

“First, it has to be fair.  That means it has to acknowledge historical responsibility.  The second is it must be ambitious.  It has to be ambitious enough to limit global warming.  The third key element—whatever is agreed upon here in Copenhagen must be binding,” he says.

On Thursday, American billionaire financier George Soros proposed an alternative scheme for helping poor countries pay for the changes needed to adapt to climate change. 

Cole says finance indeed is the key that could unlock the whole deal.

“There is no doubt we need deep carbon emissions reduction cuts on those countries that are the largest historical polluters.  While it is important to have financing available for next year, we cannot let it end there.  We need to progress to talking about long-term financing and we need to talk about far greater numbers," he says.

How much?

"Oxfam believes that $200 billion is needed every year, half to reduce green house gases in the developing world and half for adaptation for the developing world,” he says.

Cole says the money received by developing countries would be used in line with their specific needs. 

“In South Africa for example, instead of building a coal-fire station, they can develop wind farms to develop power. For Uganda and Malawi, the emphasis would be on adaptation, helping farmers to cope with disruptions to their normal rainfall patterns,” he says.