Durban: Even in hard times, fighting climate change is not a luxury but a necessity, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Wednesday, as climate negotiators bickered about how to raise hundreds of billions of dollars to adapt to a warming world.
Creating a body to govern a USD 100 billion a year fund is a central issue at the 194-nation UN climate conference nearing its end in South Africa, but it was unclear whether the final document will mention how the money will be mobilised for the Green Climate Fund.
Ban said on Wednesday that while many countries are tightening budgets, contributing money to fight climate change is "an imperative. We have to do it."
A high level advisory group appointed by Ban reported last year that money should flow from governments, private investment and international sources such as a levy on global merchant shipping and aviation.
The fund is earmarked to help poor countries adapt to the severe effects of global warming and to help them reduce emissions in the future.
Government leaders approved a USD 10 billion a year fast-track fund from 2010 to 2012, which is supposed to scale up to USD 100 billion a year by 2020.
Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg, who co-authored last year's report, said the crisis roiling markets around the world underscored the need to vary the sources of funding.