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UN climate adaptation fund caught in management disputes
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The UN fund to help poor countries to adapt to climate change was still immersed in harsh disputes over how to manage the finance resources on Monday.

Though a decision to launch the fund has been regarded as one of the possible outcomes of the Poznan climate talks, no substantial progress has been made on the subject during the past week.

Calling the issue "problematic," UN climate chief Yvo de Boer told a press conference in Poznan that the issue was still under discussion on how to manage the fund.

"Basically, three options have been discussed" on how to disperse the finance resources, namely to disperse money to developing countries through existing implementing agencies like the World Bank, UNDP, through institutions being accreditated to receive the money and other possibilities, de Boer told reporters.

The fund, which was approved during the Bali climate talks last December, has yet to disburse any money to the developing countries due to legal and technical complications in the past year.

Echoing de Boer's comments, Brice Lalonde from the French delegation also admitted that the adaptation fund is emerging as " a little stone" standing on the way. The adaptation fund is "an important achievement which should be on its way and start working after Poznan, there are still some legal complications to get it in place," Lalonde told reporters at an EU press conference on Monday afternoon.

On the adaptation fund, the developing countries believe that there is a need to scale up finance and technology transfer for poorer countries while the developed ones stressed the importance of technology needs assessment.

As a major developing country, China has insisted that any finance activities related to climate change should be conducted under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which should be taken as the main channel of global efforts to deal with climate change.

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and some African countries said they were dissatisfied with the amount of money available for poorer countries and complicated access to the money.

Meanwhile, many people worry that the fund is short of money and cannot meet the demand of developing countries of at least 15 billion U.S. dollars a year. An expert from a German Research group predicted that the adaptation fund may have only tens of millions of dollars available.

The fund's main source of finance is a 2 percent levy on projects in the Clean Development Mechanism, a UN scheme that allows wealthy states to invest in clean energy projects in the developing world in return for credits offsetting carbon emissions.

(Xinhua News Agency December 9, 2008)

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