WASHINGTON (CN) – Developed nations will donate $350 million to help poorer countries develop renewable energy sources, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Monday at the Copenhagen climate talks.
Disagreement on the disparate roles of wealthy and poor nations in battling climate change remains contentious, with India and China threatening to abandon negotiations as the United Nations summit heads into its second week.
India and China staged a walk-out Monday, but have since returned to the table.
Dozens of developing nations criticized how agreements are being handled, specifically speaking out against efforts to dismiss an extension of the Kyoto protocol, which imposes no emissions restrictions on developing nations.
Adopting an agreement different from the Kyoto protocol would likely include emissions restrictions on developing nations.
Some poor nations also claim the negotiations are not transparent enough.
The $350 million in aid – including $85 million in U.S. aid – will be distributed over a five-year period. The announcement comes on the heels of a much larger $3 billion pledge by European countries to help poorer countries develop cleaner energy sources and cope with the effects of climate change, including rising sea levels and a higher prevalence of droughts and floods.
But the money falls short of developing nations’ demand for $100 billion in annual aid as part of an emissions agreement.
Wealthy nations have already agreed not to let the earth’s temperature rise by 1.3 degrees Fahrenheit, above today’s average global temperature of about 59 degrees.