Sweden pledges billions in climate aid

Sweden has agreed to provide the EU with 8 billion kronor ($1.12 billion) to help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change, the government announced on Wednesday.

The money will be paid out during the period 2010-2012, a spokeswoman for Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU presidency, said in Stockholm on the eve of an European summit in Brussels to be dominated by climate talks.

“This is part of the ‘fast start financing’ that the EU is preparing,” spokeswoman Roberta Alenius told AFP.

Europe’s leaders will on Thursday attempt to agree a €2 billion ($2.94 billion) annual endowment to the world’s poorer countries in order to jolt the ongoing Copenhagen climate negotiations into a new gear.

Other than Sweden, so far only Britain has made public its contribution: an £800 million pot ($1.3 billion), which breaks up into around €300 million per year.

The EU has estimated that the world’s developing countries need global financing of €5-7 billion per year for the next three years.

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