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Poor countries to be given fund for fighting climate change
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The parties attending the Poznan climate talks agreed on Friday to give green light to a fund which will give poor countries direct access to finance assistance to address climate change.

An official from the Chinese delegation told Xinhua that the legal status of the adaptation fund board has been recognized. The fund now has only tens of millions U.S. dollars available, but experts said at least 15 billion to 20 billion dollars is needed each year.

"Parties have already agreed to grant the board a legal status, " which is the main sticking point for the board to grant developing nations direct access to cash in the fund, Huang Wenhang, who is in charge of relevant talks, told Xinhua.

The adaptation fund, which was approved in Bali climate talks last December, had been caught in harsh disputes in the past days of negotiations.

The progress, which was made after compromise by the developed countries, clears the main obstacle for the fund to become operational next year, she said, adding that it is a manifestation of strong political will from all countries.

Huang said delegates are still negotiating some details. But she predicted that a final decision to formally launch the fund at the Poznan talks "should not be a problem now."

The agreement was widely regarded as one of the main outcomes of the talks. Until now, the fund could not operate because its board had no right to sign contracts.

Poor nations have accused rich nations of avoiding their responsibilities of assisting them with money and technology, while some developed nations stressed that too easy access to cash will undermine the effect of the fund.

(Xinhua News Agency December 13, 2008)

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