The big news from Copenhagen this morning: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's announcement that transparency is absolutely necessary for any U.S. participation in financing a global climate change treaty.
Saying the U.S. is "ready to do its part," Clinton pledged that the U.S. would raise $100 billion a year by 2020 to help poor countries fight climate change — but ONLY if all countries agree to binding and verifiable emissions cuts.
Clinton made the condition crystal clear:
If there is not even a commitment to pursue transparency, that is a kind of deal breaker for us… In the absence of an operational agreement that meets the requirements that I outlined, there will not be that kind of financial commitment, at least from the United States.
Environmental Defense Fund president Fred Krupp applauded Clinton's speech for its "sharp focus" on the need for transparency in any international climate agreement:
Transparency — knowing whether countries are living up to their commitments — is the linchpin of an effective global effort. The details of how we measure progress and hold countries accountable to their commitments can be worked out over the coming months. The single most critical goal here in Copenhagen is a commitment by all nations to address transparency … The outlines of an agreement are taking shape. But they could be erased if transparency is blocked or diluted.
Assuming all countries do commit to transparency, Clinton says the $100 billion per year would come from a wide variety of sources, including the public and private sectors in the U.S. and other developed nations.
You can watch Clinton's entire news conference from Copenhagen.