Meetings held this week in Brussels have seen environment and finance ministers trying to thrash out the main issues for the crucial talks.

However, both Greenpeace and Oxfam have attacked the ministers, including representatives from the UK, for failing to agree a coherent strategy.

Both groups want to see an agreed European Union (EU) position on climate financing and emissions cuts to take to the talks this December.

But, Oxfam feel talks this week have ‘foundered’ as Poland and other central and eastern member states tussled with Germany over how much they would be expected to pay.

The head of Oxfam European Union office, Elise Ford, said: “The EU has in the past shown itself capable of delivering what’s needed to secure a deal in Copenhagen.

“But, these results also shows it’s entirely capable of throwing climate leadership out the window.

“Heads of state and government must pick up the pieces when they meet next week.”

She accused finance ministers of ‘passing the buck’ to their heads of state and government, who meet next week.

Greenpeace also claimed this week that Europe has fallen behind Japan and Norway in pledging emissions cuts and called on Gordon Brown to act.

The group’s executive director, John Sauven, claimed Gordon Brown’s meeting with European leaders in Brussels next week will ‘be the last chance’ the EU has of giving the global climate negotiations a much-needed boost before Copenhagen.

He said: “As it stands, Europe’s lack of ambition in terms of cuts in carbon, and its non-existent commitment to providing money for developing countries to adapt to climate change, means we’re further than ever from a real breakthrough in Copenhagen.

“With Japan and Norway taking the international leadership position away from Europe, it’s clear there’s a real need for a step change from European leaders when they meet next week.”

Luke Walsh

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