PM hails EU climate fund 'breakthrough'

Europe to propose £90bn support package ahead of key Copenhagen talks

A A A

Europe's leaders will present a £90bn plan to cut the world's greenhouse gas emissions at the United Nations climate change summit in Copenhagen. After hours of wrangling at the EU summit in Brussels this week, they gave broad backing to Gordon Brown's calls for developed nations to put a price on tackling global warming.

The Prime Minister, who had warned that a failure to set out detailed figures would jeopardise the Copenhagen talks in December, hailed yesterday's agreement as a "breakthrough".

The EU will push for the world to agree a €100bn (£90bn) support package for developing countries trying to cope with the impact of climate change.

Under the plan, developed nations would pump between €22bn and €50bn a year into the fund by 2020, which is expected to include an overall EU contribution of €7bn to €10bn. The Prime Minister has already committed Britain to put £1bn into the fund.

The EU said its proposal was a "conditional offer" that depended on other countries backing the plan with their own money. The rest of the €100bn package, to be phased in from 2013, would come from the global emissions trading scheme as well as some contributions from wealthier developing nations such as China, Brazil and Mexico.

Mr Brown overcame opposition from several EU leaders to agree the deal in Brussels. He was forced to compromise on details of the plan, but the united European face to be presented at Copenhagen will put pressure on the US, Russia and other developed nations to agree a wide-ranging deal.

Mr Brown had originally pressed for the EU to support a worldwide contribution of €30bn to €40bn, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel, backed by the French, had resisted committing the EU to such a specific figure in advance of Copenhagen. In order to get her on board, the leaders agreed the wider €22bn to €50bn range, although British officials acknowledged a contribution as low as €22bn would make it difficult for the overall sums to add up.

Nine eastern and central European nations, led by Poland, protested at the size of the figures, arguing they already faced a big bill to reduce the emissions from their own Soviet-era heavy industries. Although the Brussels talks did not get into the detail of individual countries' payments into the fund, the former Iron Curtain countries won a private agreement that they would not be expected to contribute large sums.

In addition, the EU will propose creating a fund of £5bn to £7bn to help the developing world cope with climate change between 2010 and 2012, for which Britain already has £800m earmarked.

The EU has already promised to cut its emissions by 20 per cent by 2020, compared with 1990 levels, and has said it would aim for a 30 per cent reduction if other parts of the world follow suit.

Europe's leaders will also challenge the rest of the world at the Copenhagen summit to offer a reduction of between 80 and 95 per cent by the year 2050.

Mr Brown said: "This is a breakthrough that takes us forward to Copenhagen and makes a Copenhagen agreement possible. Now we want other countries to respond to what we're doing. I think developing countries can now say they are ready to cut their emissions substantially over the next few years."

The deal came after Ban Ki-moon, the UN secretary general, urged EU leaders to "provide the political leadership to achieve a breakthrough on climate financing". He told them a Copenhagen deal was unlikely without a "credible package on financing to support mitigation and adaptation in developing countries".

But Oxfam claimed the European offer was not large enough and warned there was no guarantee the money on the table would be "new" or diverted from existing aid commitments.

The EU deal: A step on the road to Copenhagen

What has been agreed?

*The EU has reached a conditional deal on how much it will pay to help other countries fight global warming, ahead of a major UN climate conference in Copenhagen in December.

*The fight against climate change would require €100bn (£90bn) a year by 2020, and that EU countries should contribute up to €50bn (£45bn), provided other nations meet the rest of the cost.

*If the offer is accepted at Copenhagen, the UK share of the EU contribution will work out at about £1bn a year.

*The contributions of other EU countries will depend on the size of their populations. Germany has 20 million more people than the UK and is expected to pay about £1.5bn, while France will pay £1bn as the size of its population is similar to ours. However, this rule will not apply to poorer eastern European countries, such as Poland, which will be asked to pay less.

What happens next?

*The next round of climate change discussions will take place in Barcelona next week. Thousands of delegates from 175 countries will meet to discuss how best to share out reductions in greenhouse gases, and how much money can be raised to help poorer countries tackle global warming.

*Delegates from 192 countries will then hold two weeks of talks in Copenhagen's swish Bella Centre, beginning on 7 December. The ultimate aim is to establish a new global treaty on climate change to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

*Four essential topics will need to be resolved: how far developed countries are willing to reduce their emissions; how far developing nations like China and India are willing to limit the growth of their emissions; how those countries are going to be helped financially to achieve this; and how that money will be managed.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?