LONDON, Dec. 5 (UPI) -- The British government said it was committing billions of dollars in financing for programs to help underdeveloped countries address climate issues.
British Energy Secretary Ed Davey announced the British government was sending $2.4 billion to a so-called fast start finance program. This, he said, would encourage private investments in low-carbon energy programs in Africa and stimulate similar efforts in the farming community in Colombia.
"Climate change is a global threat and with every passing year, the nature and the extent of that threat grows clearer," he said in a statement. "We also recognize that the world's poorest will be hit the hardest by the impacts of climate change and we need to help communities adapt to these challenges."
Low-carbon advocate Oil Change International this week said the top industrialized nations allocated a collective $58.7 billion to subsidize fossil fuels last year compared with $11.2 billion for climate financing for developing countries.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told the climate conference in Doha that extreme weather trends ostensibly linked to pollution are becoming "the new normal."
"Developed countries must give their clear indications that scaled-up climate financing will flow after 2012 and that it will be commensurate to the goal of mobilizing $100 billion dollars a year by 2020 from public and private funding," he said.