EU leaders postpone decision on climate change aid

June 24, 2009

BRUSSELS (AFP) – EU leaders postponed a decision on climate change aid for the poorest nations, a move slammed by environmentalists.

“The main principles of contribution should be the ability to pay and the responsibility for emissions,” the European leaders said in a statement issued during a summit in Brussels
“All countries, except the least developed, should contribute to the financing of the fight against climate change in developing countries,” the text added.
But there were no concrete commitment or firm figures.
The EU “recognizes the scale of the effort required” and would therefore contribute “a fair share of international public support for action for mitigation and adaptation, in particular for the least developed countries,” the 27 heads of state and government said in their statement.
They invited the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, to put forward proposals, including on financing “as soon as possible” so that decisions can be taken at the next EU summit in October.
In its own backyard, EU nations have committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020, and to increase the cuts to 30 percent if other developed countries follow suit.
Environmental group Greenpeace slammed the EU's failure to put cash on the table to help developing countries to introduce green technologies and energy efficiencies.
“Money is the make or break issue in the ongoing global climate negotiations. Waiting until October means another three months of deadlock in international negotiations,” said Greenpeace's EU climate and energy policy director Joris den Blanken.
“Today has shown us that European leaders are still not up to the challenge. We need European leadership to push for a strong climate deal by the end of this year,” he added, referring to global climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.