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EU finance ministers today failed to agree a common strategy for the UN climate conference in Copenhagen, a failure that environmental campaigners described as endangering the prospects of a global deal.

Some EU members want to contribute less to the “pot” Europe is prepared to contribute to development countries to fight climate change. Is the opportunity to act as role model going to be squandered? Some of the discussion, reported in the article here are of interest.

Discussions foundered on what support the EU should offer developing countries in the fight against climate change. Climate funding for developing nations is a make-or-break issue for a global climate agreement. The European Commission has said that the international community should provide developing countries with €100 billion per year by 2020, and that EU public authorities should contribute between €2bn-15bn of this. It has also said the EU should provide €5bn-7bn in so-called ‘fast track’ financing to be provided between 2010 and 2013, when the Kyoto Protocol expires and is replaced by any global deal that may emerge.

The EU’s presidency, which is currently held by Sweden, had hoped that a deal could be reached which would then be rubber-stamped by EU leaders at their summit on 29-30 October. Now, instead, a substantial part of the summit will need to be devoted to resolving the issue.

They are concerned that the EU’s poorer member states could end up carrying an unfair share of the burden. They want the size of contributions to be determined primarily by wealth, rather than on the level of emissions. Poland and the other countries – Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Latvia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Czech Republic and Slovenia – wanted to pay less into the European pot.

Watch this space, and check out the progress of Hopenhagen.org

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