AUSTRALIA is under pressure to pledge hundreds of millions of dollars a year to an international fund to help developing countries adapt to climate change, after the European Union revealed it would be willing to chip in up to $25 billion a year by 2020.
An agreement on financing is seen as the only way to break an international deadlock in climate change negotiations before the UN meeting in Copenhagen in December. It is also a key topic for the G20 leaders' meeting in Pittsburgh later this month and a special New York summit called by UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon, both to be attended by Kevin Rudd.
A spokesman for Climate Change Minister Penny Wong would not be drawn on Australia's willingness to contribute or views about the structure of a fund, but acknowledged the issue was critical for the Copenhagen talks.
"We are extremely conscious of the close relationship between progress on finance and a global deal on climate change. It's a key part of our negotiations moving towards Copenhagen," the spokesman said.
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