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Government»European leaders edge closer to agreement on global climate change fund

»Wednesday, November 4,2009

 

To combat climate change after an appeal for them to show leadership from Ban Ki Moon, the UN General-Secretary.

Mr Ban waded into a row dominating the EU summit in Brussels over how much money the EU should put on the table for climate talks in Copenhagen in December, calling on them to commit to "a very substantial figure".

Gordon Brown led calls for the creation of a global fund of €100 billion (£90 billion) a year from 2020 for the developing world but failed to win agreement from the EU to name how much it was prepared to commit to this.

The Prime Minister and the European Commission wanted the EU to pledge €10 billion a year from 2020 but was rebuffed by opposition led by Germany and Poland.

Downing Street suggested that they were expecting a "key breakthrough" in today's talks because Europe's leaders will commit the entire developed world to contribute between €22 billion and €50 billion every year from 2020.

The lower figure is less than the €30 billion minimum that Mr Brown had been pushing for.

In a second blow, leaders gathered in Brussels refused to say how much of the €22-50 billion would be committed by Europe and how much would come from the US and Japan.

British officials denied that a lack of a specific commitment from Europe amounted to a failure because they "did not want to pre-empt future negotiations".

Instead they said that Europe will pay it's "fair share". An official added: "We need the US to come on board."

The EU is also proposing that the international community find €5-7 billion of fast-track funding for the 2010-12 period before any Copenhagen agreement comes into force. Again, the EU part of that is not made clear.

"As you gather for discussions in the European Council, I urge you to continue to demonstrate the bold climate leadership for which the European Union is known and widely respected," said the UN Secretary-General, in a letter to José Manuel Barroso of the European Commission.

"Specifically, I call on you to provide the political leadership needed to achieve a breakthrough on climate financing.

"Without a credible package to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries, a deal in Copenhagen is unlikely. Adequate, predictable and additional funding is necessary to support developing countries in establishing low-carbon growth plans."

Mr Ban added that an EU agreement would "help build trust between developing a developed nations, which is the sine qua non for any effective multilateral climate agreement".

Around a third of the proposed €100 billion fund would come from the carbon markets and a third from developing countries themselves.

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