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The EU on emission reductions and climate financing

The Globe and Mail reports today that “EU leaders agreed Friday to commit $3.6-billion (U.S.) a year until 2012 to help poorer countries combat global warming…”

“The climate money is meant to go toward a global $10-billion annual fund for short-term help to poor countries, particularly in Africa, adapt to the effects of global warming before a new climate treaty being negotiated in Copenhagen comes into force in 2012.”

“The climate change money would help poorer countries build coastal protection, modify or shift crops threatened by drought, build water supplies and irrigation systems, preserve forests, improve health care to deal with diseases spread by warming, and move from fossil fuel to low-carbon energy systems such as solar and wind power.”

“All 27 members of the European Union will commit money to a short-term fund for poorer countries…(though) donations by some EU countries are thought to be only a token to reach a unanimous agreement.”

“The United Kingdom promised $650 million each year, while France and Germany said they would contribute $622 million each year.”

“Critics noted the $10-billion-a-year aid pales in comparison to the huge stimulus packages and bank bailouts paid by many governments in the wake of the global financial meltdown.”

“The EU leaders also pledged to reduce their emissions by 30 per cent of 1990 levels by 2020 – but are still demanding that other leading polluters make comparable commitments first (in particular the United States and Canada).”

“British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the Copenhagen talks, which end Dec. 18, should pave the way to an ambitious and legally binding global treaty within six months.”

The Globe and Mail article is at http://theglobeandmail.com/news/world/climate-change/eu-nations-pledge-36-billion-a-year-until-2012-to-climate-fund/article1396789/?.