Durban, South Africa — ESI-AFRICA.COM — 01 December 2011 – Negotiations at Cop 17 on the Green Climate Fund are not about to fall apart, according to South African environment minister Edna Molewa.

“We are still confident we are on track to make operational the Green Climate Fund,” she told reporters at the UN climate change conference here.

Responding to questions, she said the “sources of funds aspect” of the climate fund had not yet been dealt with in the negotiations, and suggested this would carry over to Cop 18. “The discussion on sources of funds still needs to take place, and by Cop 18 we should have some progress,” she suggested.

What was being brought into operation was a "shell" climate fund, she said.

The Green Climate Fund was agreed to at Cop 16 in Cancun, Mexico last year. It aimed to provide US$100 billion to poorer countries by 2020 to help them cope with carbon emissions and adapt to climate change.

Molewa said the South African delegation, which she headed, remained engaged in the negotiations.

She warned against making too much of some pronouncements by countries on issues, as it was still early and negotiations had just begun. “By the end of the week, a clearer picture would emerge. Things are going smoothly; we are on track,” Molewa reiterated.

Objections to the US$100 billion fund “’ which is to be provided by developed countries “’ were raised earlier this week by Canada and the United States. Both countries cited concerns about how the money would be raised.