The cost of fighting climate change continues to undermine European Union consensus. The members of the rich bloc will set out on day two of their summit this Friday to bridge differences over how far to finance developing countries. And UN talks in Copenhagen are just weeks away.
Nine less well-off eastern EU countries have reservations. Hungary is one of these. Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai said: “I want to make clear that we have come to the conclusion among us, the nine countries, that the current proposal by the (Swedish EU) Presidency on the table is not acceptable in its current form, in respect of the wide sense of burden-sharing for Europe’s undertaking in the climate change conference.” Friday’s task in Brussels is to find an acceptable way to cushion recession-weakened EU economies. Yet other major world players will be urged to make proportional efforts, too. Developing nations are expected to need an estimated 100 billion euros per year by 2020 to tackle climate problems. José Manuel Barroso, European Commission President, said: “It is extremely important that the European Union keeps its leadership role.” The EU is not just split over how much it should pay, but over how much of its commitment it should reveal before the Copenhagen negotiations.