Monday, May 7, 2012

EU nations get cold feet over climate change fund

Barbara Lewis in Reuters: EU nations have yet to come up with a plan on how to fill a multi-billion euro fund to help tackle climate change, even as the region's executive body hosts talks with countries likely to bear the brunt of extreme weather. The European Union recommitted to providing 7.2 billion euros ($9.4 billion) for the fund over 2010-12, according to draft conclusions seen by Reuters ahead of a meeting of EU finance ministers next week.

But after that, how much cash will flow is unclear as the text, drafted against the backdrop of acute economic crisis in the euro zone, states the need to "scale up climate finance from 2013 to 2020", but does not specify how.

The Green Climate Fund aims to channel up to $100 billion globally per year by 2020 to help developing countries deal with the impact of climate change. Its design was agreed at international climate talks in Durban last year.

Europe's Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard is fighting to build on the fragile international agreement in Durban. On Monday and Tuesday, together with the Danish EU presidency, she is holding informal discussions in Brussels with members of what some call the "coalition of ambition", ahead of U.N. talks in Bonn later this month.

The coalition is a union of the EU, the Alliance of Small Island States and the Least Developed Countries. At the U.N. talks in Durban, it played a lead role in forging agreement on keeping alive the Kyoto process, the only global framework on addressing global warming...

European flag outside the Commission, shot by Xavier Häpe, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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