EU agrees deal on climate funding

European Union leaders resolved a funding dispute on Friday to agree a negotiating position for talks on a global deal to combat climate change.

They said the agreement, reached at a summit in Brussels, would improve the chances of securing a deal at the talks in Copenhagen in December on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol, the United Nations’s anti-climate change scheme.

”We managed today [Friday] to reach an agreement,” Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt, whose country holds the EU presidency until the end of this year, told a news conference.

He said the decision gave the 27-country bloc a strong negotiating position and ”enables the European Union to continue taking a lead in the negotiations, a position that encourages others to deliver”.

The EU leaders gave few details of the deal reached to overcome a rift between Eastern and Western Europe.

But Reinfeldt said they had agreed that developing nations needed about €100-billion per year by 2020 to tackle climate change.

Of that sum, about €22-billion to €50-billion would have to come from public funds, as opposed to industry, he said.

The EU’s Swedish presidency drew up revised proposals after talks broke down on Thursday, largely because of the rift between nine countries from Eastern Europe and the richer member states over how the burden should be shared.

Funding is central to the chances of success in Copenhagen because developing countries say they will not sign up to tackling climate change without enough funds from rich nations.

The poorer EU countries in Eastern Europe had said they wanted to know how much they would have to provide before agreeing on funding.

Many EU states had said that agreeing figures now would encourage others, such as the United States, to follow suit. But Germany had hoped to wait until other global powers had said how much they would provide. — Reuters

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