Time to pay the price of climate change… that is the message EU leaders are getting as they gather in Brussels for a two-day summit.
Deciding who picks up the multi-billion euro tab is going to be a difficult issue to resolve. EU nations will have to help developing countries tackle the problem, but environmental groups say time is running out. Senior Policy Officer for Climate and Energy, Greenpeace, Joris Den Blanken said: “I think it’s really on a knife’s edge. We have a couple of countries, the UK, but also Denmark, the Netherlands, really supporting to put money on the table. On the other hand, we have Germany, France, Poland, still making trouble and it’s absolutely important that these countries come on board.” If people in poor countries are not given enough public money to protect themselves, disaster will ensue says Oxfam. The charity installed a piece of art work in the centre of Brussels as a reminder to summit delegates. Another topic up for discussion will be the EU presidency. Two possible candidates are Tony Blair and Luxembourg’s premier Jean Claude Juncker. Marco Incerti, a researcher at the Centre for European Policy Studies said: “Blair would be the personification of a more powerful, visible, high-profile president of the council whereas Mr Juncker would be more like a consensus builder, a deal broker. There are bound to be names that will be only be pulled out of the hat at the very last minute and sometimes it is not so good to be in the race early on because then you are burnt and you could be overtaken by some newcomer.” The role of EU President has yet to be clearly defined by the 27-nation bloc’s leaders. There are misgivings in some quarters over Blair’s link with the Iraq war and the UK being outside the eurozone.