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Fate of vulnerable nations in balance at Copenhagen

By Emma Alberici COPENHAGEN (Radio Australia, Dec. 18, 2009) – The United States says it will join other rich countries to raise US$110 billion annually to help poorer countries finance climate change issues by 2020.

The announcement was made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Copenhagen talks on global warming.

Hillary Clinton arrived in the Danish capital with money available.

But the US Secretary of State said that any deal on financing for the developing world would have to include a system for ensuring pledges to cut carbon emissions are fulfilled.

This was a direct reference to China's reported reluctance to have international inspectors monitor its mitigation behaviour.

Mrs Clinton said US President Barak Obama was on his way to Copenhagen.

She hoped he would have something substantial to sign an agreement for when he arrived.

Long-term financing of the$110 billion would come from a variety of sources, she said, and would be mainly focused on forestry and adaptation for the poorest and most vulnerable nations.

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has expressed concern at the likely outcome of the talks.

He says negotiations are on the verge of collapse with four key issues still unresolved near the close.

Mr Rudd says those who carry the responsibility for historical emissions of greenhouse gases cannot absolve themselves of responsibility for future actions.

But he says developing nations need to acknowledge that if they do not act to bring down their own emissions, they will soon be responsible for 50 percent of global carbon emissions.

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