The panel, to be led by Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown and his Ethiopian counterpart Meles Zenawi, aimed ”to mobilise the resources for climate change pledged at the recent climate change conference in Copenhagen”, Mr Ban said.

He said the group, evenly balanced between developed and developing nations, ”will develop practical proposals to significantly scale up long-term [public and private] financing for mitigation and adaptation strategies in developing countries”.

Mr Ban said the group would specifically seek to marshal new and innovative resources to reach a $US100 billion target by 2020 to fund ”adaptation, mitigation, technology development and transfer, and capacity building in developing countries, with priority for the most vulnerable”.

The panel would include heads of state and government, top officials from ministries and central banks plus experts on public finance, development and related issues.

Mr Ban said its composition would be announced soon and revealed he planned to ask Guyanan President Bharrat Jagdeo and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg to join.

Mr Ban, who was linked by videoconference with Mr Brown and Mr Meles, said he expected the panel to deliver a preliminary report at the May-June meeting of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

”Finance for adaptation and mitigation and transfer of technology are of central significance for developing countries,” Mr Meles said from Addis Ababa.

While the funding provisions of the Copenhagen accord fell below the expectations of many in the developing world, Mr Meles said, ”they have nevertheless been welcomed by most of our [African] leaders”.

”This time around, the promises made have to be kept because the alternative is irresponsible management of the climate, followed by catastrophic changes,” he warned. He voiced optimism that the work of the panel would make it possible for poor nations to join the developed world in Mexico for a final and binding treaty on climate change.

Mexico is to host the next UN-sponsored climate summit in the beach resort of Cancun from November 29 to December 10.

”We must put in place the transparency for measurement, reporting and verification and we must take forward the co-operation on technology and we must deepen international agreement through a detailed set of rules and governments arrangements,” Mr Brown said.

In December, a 194-nation UN-led summit in Copenhagen pledged to limit global warming to 2 degrees with billions of dollars in financing. It gave countries until January 31 to join.

A 2007 report by a UN panel of scientists said human-caused climate change was unequivocally a fact.


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