Planet Gore

Europe Votes ‘Present’ on ‘Climate Financing’

New York Times:

European Union leaders on Friday offered to contribute money to a global fund to help developing countries tackle global warming hoping kick-start stalled talks on a new agreement on climate change.

But E.U. leaders disappointed climate campaigners by making the offer conditional on donations from other parts of the world and by failing to decide how much Europe would contribute to a global pot of up to 50 billion euros by 2020.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt insisted the E.U. now had “a very strong negotiating position” to press for a global deal at United Nations talks in Copenhagen in December that are aimed at agreeing a successor accord to the Kyoto Protocol.

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, also stressed that Europe was leading the way.

“There is no-one else among the industrialized nations” to have made as concrete an offer of climate finance, Ms. Merkel told a press conference in Brussels.

But environmental groups took a mostly negative view of the results of the two-day summit, saying E.U. leaders had chosen vague, global figures and thereby diminished chances of unblocking climate negotiations ahead of the meeting in Copenhagen.

“Europe has failed once again to say how much it is prepared to contribute for climate finance,” said Sonja Meister, a climate campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe. “In every way the EU is shirking its historical responsibilities and blocking progress towards the just and fair agreement the world needs in Copenhagen,” she said.

Life was so much simpler for Europe when George W. Bush could be blamed for everything.

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