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Page last updated at 21:55 GMT, Friday, 11 December 2009

EU climate cash pledge 'not enough' say small nations

Dried river bed in Kenya (file image)
Global warming threatens some of the world's most vulnerable communities

Developing countries and aid agencies have derided the latest pledges by richer states to tackle global warming.

EU leaders ended a Brussels summit with a three-year deal to pay 7.2bn euros (£6.5bn; $10.6bn) to help poorer nations cope with climate change.

The EU contribution is part of a global "fast start" package being debated at the UN Copenhagen summit.

But leaders of poorer nations and some aid agencies described the sum offered by the EU as inadequate.

The 7.2bn euros is Europe's contribution to a proposed package of $10bn (7bn euros) a year designed to help Africa, island nations and other vulnerable states cope with climate change from next January until 2012.

The money could help them boost coastal protection, deal with droughts, prevent deforestation and use more solar and wind energy.

Groups representing poorer nations most at risk from climate change added their voices to the call for a bigger financial commitment.

US-LED COPENHAGEN DEAL

  • No reference to legally binding agreement
  • Recognises the need to limit global temperatures rising no more than 2C above pre-industrial levels
  • Developed countries to "set a goal of mobilising jointly $100bn a year by 2020 to address the needs of developing countries"
  • On transparency: Emerging nations monitor own efforts and report to UN every two years. Some international checks
  • No detailed framework on carbon markets - "various approaches" will be pursued
Updated: 13:47 GMT, 19 December

Lumumba Stanislaus-Kaw Di-Aping, representing the G77 bloc of developing nations and China at the Copenhagen talks, accused EU leaders of acting like "climate sceptics".

"They are essentially saying that the problem does not exist," he told a news conference.

"Their pledge does not address financing in its totality. We want to know where the money is coming from. Is it overseas development aid or not? When Gordon Brown says the cost of climate change will be irreparable, is he really being true?"

Bruno Tseliso Sekoli, chairman of the Least Developed Countries (LDC) bloc, told the BBC that the EU pledge "cannot be enough for the purpose of meeting the requirements of the LDCs".

"Any money that would flow from the developed to developing worlds would be welcome but these numbers are very, very low," he said.

Dessima Williams, chairwoman of the Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis), said even the global sum on the table at Copenhagen was not enough.

"We just had a (Commonwealth) meeting in Trinidad where the figure of $10bn per year was put on the table and that was woefully inadequate," she said.

"One cannot do sustainable development - making the transformations in energy for example - with such a small pot of money."

This money is not even new - it's made up of a recycling of past promises, and payments that have already been made
Tim Gore
Oxfam EU climate change adviser

Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister He Yafei was also sceptical.

"It will be relatively easy for developed countries to come up with a number for the short term for three years," he said. "But what shall we do after three years?"

Some aid groups said the EU pledges included funds from existing budgets.

Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose nation held the rotating EU presidency during the summit, acknowledged that the pledges were "a combination of new and old resources".

"Almost all of the money is likely to be simply a relabelling of existing aid commitments," said Anne-Catherine Claude, of ActionAid.

"Many EU members have a track record of repackaging or re-announcing existing aid commitments. This appears to be the case here too," she added.

Oxfam EU climate change adviser Tim Gore was also disappointed.

"In Brussels today, EU leaders only offered small sums of short-term cash. Worst of all, this money is not even new - it's made up of a recycling of past promises, and payments that have already been made," he added.

'Fair share'

Announcing the deal at the Brussels summit, Mr Reinfeldt said all 27 EU member nations would contribute and that the EU was doing its "fair share".

The UK was the largest contributor at £500m ($800m; 553m euros) a year followed by France and Germany.

Eastern European countries, which had protested they were too poor to pay, have also made contributions although some are merely symbolic, says the BBC's Oana Lungescu in Brussels.

Many, like Poland, say they are unable to give cash and have offered instead a percentage of the future sale of unused carbon credits.

But diplomats admit there is no guarantee how many of those will be sold, our correspondent adds.



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