EU Assures 7.2 Billion Euros for Poor Countries to Cope With Global Warming

By Nico Bijens
Nico Bijens
Nico Bijens
December 13, 2009 Updated: December 13, 2009

BRUSSELS, Belgium—Last week, European leaders who pledged a total figure of 7.2 billion euros (US$10.6 billion) over the next three years to help poorer nations cope with global warming, gathered in Brussels for the European Summit, in preparation for the U.N. conference on climate change in Copenhagen.

“This means we managed to get contributions from all 27 EU member states and now of course we urge the other developed parts of the world to make the same contributions so that this will add up,” said Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt during a press conference on Friday.

Summit negotiations went on all through Thursday night to come to a final conclusion. European leaders finally agreed that the Copenhagen Agreement should include provisions on immediate action, starting in 2010. The European Council acknowledged that this requires an increase in financial support. The total EU figure for fast-start financing for adaptation, mitigation, and capacity building for the years 2010 to 2012, will be 2.4 billion euros (approximately US$5.85 billion) per year.

EU leaders formulated a conditional offer to further decrease emissions from an earlier agreed 20 percent, to 30 percent by 2020 (as compared to 1990 emission levels), provided that other developed countries commit themselves to comparable emission reductions and that developing countries contribute adequately according to their responsibilities and respective capabilities.

“EU is ready to pay its fair share,” added José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, ”And this is so important for developing countries, especially the poorest, the most vulnerable. I think about African countries, small Island states, whose futures depend on immediate action. We hope now that others will match our figures and our ambitions. Financing is key to getting this deal done.”

Nico Bijens