Europe still dragging its feet ahead of Copenhagen

European leaders agree to give €100 billion annually by 2020 to the developing world to fund climate change fighting initiatives but remain deadlocked over who should pay what.

Ministers have claimed a success thrashed out a deal to provide the cash handouts to developing countries and a fast-track scheme to allow countries to take part straight after the Copenhagen discussions.

However, environmental group Greenpeace have accused European Union (EU) ministers of missing the chance to ‘kick start’ talks.

The agreement today (October 30) states €50bn of the potential funding should be public money, but failed to say how much of that 50bn Euros of public money would come from the European Union.

The biggest stumbling block is that the ministers could not agree how much money individual EU states would pay.

British prime minister, Gordon Brown, however hailed the talks as a ‘breakthrough’ saying: “We have an agreement that the total cost of climate financing would be around €100 billion annually by 2020, and we believe the rest of the world should recognise that is the case.

“And therefore the developed countries have a role to play in making sure that that climate finance is available so that emerging markets and developing countries can make the climate change investments that are necessary.”

Greenpeace UK’s head of climate, Robin Oakley, was less optimistic saying: “Money for poorer countries to slash their emissions and adapt to climate change is one of the key issues blocking a deal at Copenhagen, so it’s welcome that EU leaders have signed up to the principle of making that investment.

“But they failed to say how much of that money the EU would be putting into the pot, this meeting was their chance to give the Copenhagen negotiations a kick start, but instead the European position is still mired in uncertainty just weeks from the start of the conference.

“Europe will have to go further if it’s going to build confidence amongst developing countries and break the deadlock in Copenhagen.”

Luke Walsh

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