"First Meaningful Proposal" on How to Finance Battle Against Climate Change
The Swedish Prime Minister is in South Africa today, talking climate issues with his South African counterpart on behalf of the EU. The Swedish Government has said that it wants to use its presidency of the EU contribute to an ambitions climate agreement with the rest of the world in Copenhagen in December. In an attempt to push forward the stalled negotiations, the European Commission has pledged to pay up to 22 billion USD annually to help poor countries keep their emissions of green house gases down. If that will help unlock the negotiations remains to be seen, but critical voices say it is not enough to make a difference to the environment.
The European Commission president Manuel Barroso called it "the first meaningful proposal" on how to finance the battle against climate change.
With less than 90 days left to the big climate meeting in Copenhagen, the Europeans are frustrated. In December, the world leaders are supposed to agree on a deal to follow on from the Kyoto agreement when it expires in 2012. But they are nowhere near solving who is going to pay for the adjustments needed in the worlds poor countries.
The European commission has now come up with an estimate of how much the developing countries will need to mitigate their emissions and adapt to climate change - and how the cost should be shared.
The Commission suggests that almost half of the money should come from the global carbon market that is supposed to emerge from the Copenhagen treaty. A substantial part of the cost needs to be borne by the poor countries themselves, says the Commission, but the worlds richer countries will have to contribute with the rest, between a fifth and half of the total cost, or 32-73 billion USD annually by the year 2020.
Of that, the EU is prepared to pay for between 10 and 30 %, reflecting the fact that 10 % is the EU's share of global emissions, and 30% its share of the global GDP.
The environmental groups have now jumped at the proposal, demanding the EU increases its share. The general secretary of WWF Sweden says the EU should be able to contribute more at an earlier stage and pay a third of the whole cost, not just up to 30 % of a part of the total cost.