Ecuador sees support for OPEC climate levy plan

DOHA Sat Dec 8, 2012 4:24pm IST

Ivonne Baki during an interview with Reuters in Quito June 3, 2011. REUTERS/Gary Granja/Files

Ivonne Baki during an interview with Reuters in Quito June 3, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Gary Granja/Files

Related Topics

DOHA (Reuters) - Ecuador believes it has the support of Iran and Qatar for its proposal for OPEC members to pay a small levy on their oil sales to help poor countries fight global warming, the chief climate negotiator from OPEC's smallest producer said.

With pressure mounting at U.N. climate talks in Doha for rich Gulf OPEC states to do much more, setting aside a few cents on each barrel sold could help appease critics. OPEC collectively exports more than 30 million barrels a day at over $100.

"This is going to be presented as a proposal from Ecuador to the OPEC meeting in Vienna next week," said Ivonne Baki, Ecuador's chief negotiator at the talks.

"I think it's going to work, I believe that it's going to be agreed," she said in Doha on Friday.

Baki said that former Qatari energy minister and president of the Doha meeting Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah had reacted "very positively" to the idea and was planning to recommend his successor back it at the Vienna meeting on December 12.

OPEC heavyweight Iran also "accepts" the concept, she said, although there is no talk yet of how big the levy would be.


"We are just putting on the table the idea, without saying how much. That is a decision that the member states should take once they have the meeting and they accept the proposal," Baki said in an interview.

"It doesn't have to be something big, even a few cents would make a big difference."

Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa proposed a tax on oil sales in 2010 and revived the idea at a meeting of South American and Arab leaders in Peru in October.

Claudia Salerno, chief U.N. climate negotiator for Venezuela, said the world's largest oil reserves holder would consider the plan.

"I know that they made it formally and it has been taken to the agenda to be considered by the OPEC council," she said.

"Climate change is lacking in new ideas to try to solve the issue, so whatever new idea that brings hope then why not, we will think about it," she said on the sidelines of the talks. "I'm not saying we will say 'yes' but we will look at that."

Wrangling over aid from richer countries to the developing world for fighting global warming is threatening to torpedo U.N. talks among 200 nations.

The United States, Europe and other developed nations, facing economic slowdown at home, have refused to set out a timetable for a tenfold rise in aid towards a promised $100 billion a year from 2020 to help developing nations curb emissions and cope with the effects of climate change.

Despite the immense wealth of the Gulf OPEC oil producers, they are not considered to be developed countries under the U.N climate convention, so are not required to pay anything towards the U.N. "green fund". Any cash raised from the Ecuadorean plan would go into a separate pot. (Additional reporting by Benjamin Garside; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Ukraine Crisis

Reuters Showcase

Day of Mourning

Day of Mourning

Malaysia mourns as bodies of MH17 victims finally come home.  Full Article 

Gaza Crisis

Gaza Crisis

Gunmen execute 18 alleged collaborators in Gaza; Israel launches air strikes.  Full Article 

Rising Toll

Rising Toll

Documented death toll in syria war at least 191,369 through April 2014 - U.N.  Full Article 

Combating Ebola

Combating Ebola

WHO says drawing up 6-9 month strategy to combat Ebola.  Full Article 

Tensions Ease

Tensions Ease

National Guard begins pullout from riot-weary Ferguson, Missouri.  Full Article 

Nervous  Calm

Nervous Calm

Amid outward calm, climate of fear cements Thai military rule.  Full Article 

Remaining Hostages

Remaining Hostages

Journalist Foley's parents, after call with pope, call for prayer and action.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage