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Developing world to wait for climate change cash

AFP/The Local · 26 Jul 2009, 10:54

Published: 26 Jul 2009 10:54 GMT+02:00

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Swedish Environment Minister Andreas Carlgren told journalists that the EU would be prepared to provide financial assistance but should not commit to any figures ahead of the talks aimed at forging a deal to tackle climate change after the existing Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

"There can be, with regard to the negotiations (in Denmark), a reason to wait for

the figures," Carlgren said.

His comments came during an informal meeting of EU environment ministers in Åre in northern Sweden.

German State Secretary for the Environment Matthias Machnig echoed Carlgren's views, saying that it would be better for the EU "to wait a bit".

"It is not very clever to put all aces on the table when you are playing poker," he said.

His Austrian counterpart Nikolaus Berlakovich told AFP that he believed Europe was more likely to reveal its hand on the eve of the summit, which runs from December 7th-18th.

"I don't believe any figures will be announced in October," he said, referring to a meeting between European heads of state and government that could give the Swedish presidency a full mandate to negotiate at the talks.

Britain's State Secretary for Energy and Climate Change Ed Miliband, however, said that he hoped a package for emerging economies could be put together at that time.

"We can't leave it to the last night in Copenhagen before reaching an agreement," he told AFP.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown suggested last month that poorer nations would need as much as 100 billion euros ($142 billion) a year to help them adjust to climate change, while the European Commission has suggested a figure of 30 billion euros.

The 27-member bloc is now driving a hard bargain with these countries, saying money will only be released if they put forward clear strategies for the green development of their economies.

"We are paying for something. We need to see we have the right contributions put on the table (from developing countries)," said Sweden's Carlgren said.

If an agreement is reached in December, the EU has promised to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent between now and 2020.

If talks break down, Europe says it will stay on its current track of cutting emissions by 20 percent by that date.

Aside from the finance issue for poorer nations, there is also the internal question of how to share the burden of carbon emissions fairly across the 27 EU member states.

EU environment commissioner Stavros Dimas told journalists that he was confident the issue would be resolved within the next months.

"That will be decided before Copenhagen," he said.

But some officials fear the process will involve intense bartering that overshadow the run-up to the talks and even undermine the EU's claim to be united as a world leader on climate change.

Story continues below…

"(This) has to be delayed until after Copenhagen to avoid countries like Poland paralysing our ability to negotiate on the international stage," said one European delegation.

Poland is heavily reliant on coal power and fears that over-ambitious targets will lead to soaring energy prices and slower economic growth.

French Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said Polish energy bills were already on the rise.

"If now we go from 20 to 30 percent (in a reduction of EU carbon emissions), the costs for Poland will become prohibitive without a mechanism for solidarity," he told AFP.

EU environment ministers will meet again October 21 in Luxembourg - the day after their finance counterparts hold talks there - with these key issues high on their agenda.

Heads of state and government could then agree on the EU's joint position during a two-day summit in Brussels on October 29 and October 30.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:13 July 26, 2009 by Nemesis
What the hell is wrong with these people. Most of those countries have been independant for 60 years or more. They have been independant long enough to build up there own countries. If they haven't that is there fault, not Europeans.

Ukraine, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia have only been independant for two decades, yet the money is not going to be earmarked for them. That money should stay in Europe and be used in Europe to help Europeans.

We are in a recession. Money earmarked for aid, should be redirected internally in Europe to help Europeans. If Sweden was to use the money it spends on aid on infrastucture, research, schools or hospitals, it would have a major benefit to the economy.
11:43 July 27, 2009 by bocale1
Nemesis, the topic under discussion is not the aids in general terms but the ones linked to reducing pollution in the 3rd world countries and growing economies.

And, it sounds pretty fair to me: all in all, our western countries became extremely rich (compared to rest of the world) by creating huge amount of pollution, totally ignoring the effect on nature until last few years and now we pretend to correct the errors we did just imposing measures to growing countries that may have serious effects in the measure they can grow...

We should at least provide them the right technology to develop their industrial sectors with better standards... and we should not forget that most of the high polluting factories those countries have are owned or strictly related to western leaded multinationals; why they should pay for our own main interests then?
12:16 July 27, 2009 by Nemesis
Bocale1, we in Europe have been paying for the third world for to long. All our countries went through a period of development. Most European countries built themselves up in the 17th and 18th centuries, while occassionally fighting wars and occupied and being torn apart, and held back by religeous reaactionism.

Travel to these so called third world countries. You will see the occassional skyscraper, sports car and people in abject poverty. The problem is corruption in there countries, not us. It is up to them to take responsibility for there own countries and there own actions.

The attitude that people in Europe have to be kept on a permanent guilt trip because of imperialism is a road to nowhere. Imperialism was ended shortly after WW2. There has been at least two generations since then. Countries have to learn to stand on there own two feet and cut the umbilical card of aid. Those countries need to start paying there own bills and find there own way.
12:34 July 27, 2009 by bocale1
Nemesis, discussion here is not about 3rd world aid (we may partially agree about; you probably made it too simple however: who supported those corrupted leaderships? are they maybe functional to western interests in exploiting local resources? and what about business related to selling weapons? which economies are getting most benefits from instability in Africa? Who has promoted the replacement of original agriculture with single product extensive productions for low cost export leading the local population to hunger? etc...)

... the point in this case is: the international community, (lead by west ct), decided to put roof on pollution emissions. Good. But the growing economies stood up with a clear message: you polluted this world for 100 years, now you realized the damage want to force us to limit our growing to respect limits you decided. Fine but you need to help us since you are cause of this catastrophe and have resources that we cannot afford. They have a good point here!
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