29 January 2009

Europe accused of backsliding

News: Launch of European Commission Communication ‘Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen’

ActionAid UK in OneWorld.Net, 28 January 2009

Europe’s top climate bureaucrats are downsizing their ambition and threatening to unravel the bloc’s leadership in the battle against global warming, ActionAid warned today.

With less than 12 months to go until a new global agreement on climate is due to be forged in Copenhagen, the EU is still refusing to put a figure on how much it is prepared to invest in the fight against global warming.

Tom Sharman, ActionAid’s head of climate change said: “There are some good ideas here but the European Commission is ratcheting down its ambition at a time when the world should be stepping up efforts to tackle climate change”.

“The European Commission is proposing some loose commitment to additional public funding but there are no hard numbers.

“Earlier versions of the paper contained proposals to spend €30bn a year in developing countries by 2020 but even this has been taken out. What is needed is a firm proposal to spend €125 billion (US$165 billion) a year in developing countries by 2020.

“Over the coming months Europe’s leaders need to get serious about finding the money to deliver the deal so that poverty and climate change are tackled hand in hand.”

Until the election of President Obama, the EU was the rich world’s clear leader on climate change, with targets to limit global warming and deal with its impacts, far in advance of other industrialised countries.

But the launch of the European Commission’s proposals for Copenhagen have contributed to a feeling of lost leadership on climate change – the EU’s failure to have a position on finance was a major cause of the stalemate in Poznan - and these proposals diminish rather than enhance Europe’s position.

Copyright OneWorld.Net

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