EU pledges climate cash to poor nations: Reinfeldt

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt has announced that the European Union's member states have agreed to give €7.2 billion ($10.6 billion, 75.3 billion kronor) to help developing nations tackle climate change.

EU pledges climate cash to poor nations: Reinfeldt

“The EU total is equal to €2.4 billion per year,” over the next three years, with voluntary pledges coming in from all 27 EU member states, Reinfeldt said after a two-day EU summit in Brussels, held under the auspices of the Swedish EU presidency.

The ‘fast start’ money is Europe’s contribution to helping the developing world to adapt to global warming over the next three years and to encourage the ongoing UN climate change conference in Copenhagen to do more.

“It was also possible through the night to get contributions from all 27 member states,” and the European commission, Reinfeldt said, as the voluntary pledges topped the €6 billion target set by the Swedish EU presidency.

EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barros said he hoped other nations would now match the EU’s ambitions. British premier Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy also demanded that leaders in Copenhagen agree a treaty that would be “legally binding within six months,” and issued a new target for a global reduction in deforestation, which should reach 25 percent by 2015.

Brown raised recession-mired Britain’s contribution to £1.2 billion ($2 billion), with Sarkozy all but matching the figure, meaning that between them Britain and France pledged €2.5 billion.

Downing Street said Britain would boost its contribution further “if others are equally ambitious in Copenhagen.” The British Prime Minister said a final Copenhagen deal must be consistent with a Group of 20 leaders’ commitment to maintain global warming to a maximum of two degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial times.

Towards that end, the EU should commit to reduce its emissions by 30 percent by 2020, he added, although his peers in Brussels have said that should be conditional upon similar movement from other big polluters like China and the United States, which is not yet the case.

EU figures published last week showed confirmed pledges from developed nations outside Europe would mean carbon dioxide cuts of just 13 percent. Sarkozy said the boost to Europe’s financial pledge was important to “give credibility to rich countries’ commitments towards African countries, which we need (to come on board) in order to get an ambitious deal.”

“What’s expensive is doing nothing. What is costly is immobility, is failure,” he said. The French leader said he and Brown will host a dozen African heads of state from the Congo basin on Wednesday “to tell them that we want to help them fight deforestation.”

Environmental group Greenpeace gave the EU cash pledge a cautious welcome. “Short term funding is necessary but there is a risk that this will be used to greenwash an outcome which is weak and doesn’t have any structural needs-based funding. Climate change will not be beaten in three years,” Greenpeace EU campaigner Joris den Blanken said.

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What’s on: February 26th – March 5th

An exclusive pop-up concert is heading to Stockholm this week – and one lucky The Local reader could snag two tickets. But if that's not your cup of tea, how about Sweden's biggest documentary festival, a series of heavy metal gigs in the far north or one of the world's most popular horse shows?

What's on: February 26th - March 5th
Sofar is hosting a secret gig in Sweden this weekend. Photo: Sofar

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In the mood for a spontaneous pop-up gig in the capital this weekend? The Local's readers are in with a chance to win two tickets to this once-in-a-lifetime event.

Sofar Sounds organizes secret concerts all over the world in non-disclosed locations and often in people's homes. While still fairly new in Stockholm, their pop-up gigs have gained a loyal following in London, Tokyo and New York. Hozier, Thomas Stenström and Beatrice Eli are examples of former acts at the event.

The live music gig is set to take place on February 28th from 6.30pm-9pm. Where? That's still a surprise, but it's rumoured to be close to Odenplan.

And as a special offer run in conjunction with events company Spontano, one lucky The Local reader will win two tickets to this highly exclusive event. All you have to do is enter the code “TheLocalSofar” in the rewards section of Spontano's iOS or Android app. Everyone who enters will be granted 50 kronor credit to use for any upcoming event booked via Spontano. The lucky winner will be notified via email on Friday night.

Read The Local's interview with Sofar's Swedish founder

If you want to get inspired this week, make a note in your diary of Sweden's biggest documentary festival, Tempo, which is set to take place from 2nd to 8th March.

A massive 120 creative documentaries from all over the world will be showing at various locations around Södermalm and Kärrtorp in Stockholm, during seven days jam packed with seminars, photo, exhibitions, competitions, cocktails and parties. And to make it even better, all of the international films will be shown in either English or with English subtitles, and so will most of the Swedish films.

'The Mahoyo Project: South Africa' by Moira Ganley, shown at Tempo Festival. Photo: Tempo

The 2015 Gothenburg Horse Show takes place over five days this weekend, from 25th February to 1st March. A plethora of disciplines and shows are on offer at this annual competition that attracts fans and competitors from all over the world. Since it first started in the spring of 1977, 2.5 million visitors have seen the great stars competing in dressage as well as showjumping in this beautiful city in western Sweden.

Heavy metal fans could do well to make their way north for the House of Metal festival in Umeå. The two-day indoor festival (because it's still cold in Umeå this time of the year) will be held from the February 27th to 28th at Umeå Folkets Hus and will feature bands with names like “Revolverdog”, “Rotten Sound”, “Helldorado” and “Apocalypse Orchestra”. Tickets are between 270 kronor and 666 kronor and there's a minimum age of 13.

Finally, our pick of this week's exhibitions is in Malmö, where the southern Swedish city's almost 50,000 foreign-born women are being celebrated. The exhibition entitled 'Women making history' maps out 100 years of the lives of women who have come to Malmö from all corners of the world.

Click on our interactive calendar below for more things to see and do this week.


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