The United States is promising to help raise $100 billion a year for poor countries to fight climate change, a move that could help kick-start talks at the U.N. climate change conference in Copenhagen.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made the announcement after arriving for the conference Thursday, just as many top officials expressed doubts the negotiations will produce any meaningful results.
Clinton says the financing is dependent on the ability of officials to reach a strong accord that includes all major economies.
But she also warns the U.S. will not sign onto any deal to reduce harmful emissions "in the absence of transparency."
The U.S. has said all countries must agree to some sort of verification mechanism but China has balked at the demand.Speaking in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu called on developed nations to "show greater sincerity" when it comes to reducing emissions and helping poor countries pay for the cuts.
One Chinese official in Copenhagen helped spark more pessimism when he said China could not envision reaching a binding agreement by the end of this week. Later, other members of the Chinese delegation said they had not given up hope on reaching a deal.Still, some U.S. delegatessaid China was pushing to conclude the climate conference with a collective statement as opposed to a detailed agreement.
Other officials at the conference have also expressed concerns they will not be able to hammer out a global warming treaty before U.S. President Barack Obama and more than 100 other world leaders arrive for the summit's conclusion on Friday.Before departing for the summit, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin that news from the talks was "not good." She also criticized the United States, saying its offers to cut emissions are not ambitious enough.