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EU summit studies climate fund boost

brussels bureau

EU summit studies climate fund boost


Greenpeace environmental activists dressed in business suits have managed to foil security at European Council headquarters, calling on the EU to save the Copenhagen talks.

European leaders are working to free up so-called fast funds for developing countries to deal with climate change. At the same time the EU wants to press on with challenging economic recovery plans.

The Prime Minister of Sweden is chairing the summit in Brussels. Fredrik Reinfeldt said:
“Yesterday in Stockholm I presented the Swedish figures with a more a quarter of a billion a year that will come from Sweden, but I am asking for contributions from others, hoping to be able to put this together tonight.”

A draft text said Europe has stabilised economically, but recovery in the coming year is expected to be weak, and unemployment worse. Recovery programmes and welfare support will not swiftly be scaled back — tense conditions for the EU’s 27 member-states to offer incentives for others to commit over climate change. Their target is to raise six billion euros in what they call “fast-start” funds to tackle problems in the next three years.

Struggling with recession-battered budgets, there are divisions among the EU countries also over urging, especially from Britain, that deeper cuts in greenhouse gas emissions be made — not just 20 percent by 2020, as already agreed, but 30 percent.

This proposal is conditional on the rest of the world making ambitious pledges at the Copenhagen conference. Eastern EU states dependent on heavily polluting coal-fired power stations are especially reticent.

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