Dare and Care

The following has been prepared by Frederic Simon, Editor of EurActiv.com and Moderator of Workshop XIV at EBS 2009. The workshop is titled, Climate change: the road to Copenhagen.

As anticipated, European leaders meeting for a two-day summit last week postponed until June a decision on the EU’s position for global climate talks, which are scheduled to conclude in Copenhagen in December.

The summit conclusions merely state that further discussions were needed on international financing mechanisms, and that leaders will determine “well in advance of the Copenhagen conference” the EU’s stance on financing approaches, its specific contribution and “principles of burden sharing among member states”.

European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said the European Union should make no commitment “while other nations, notably the United States and China,” are not doing the same.

The summit’s result will no doubt form the mainstay of discussions during this year’s European Business Summit debate on
The Road To Copenhagen“, which takes place on Friday. After touting its role as a leader in global climate talks, is the European Union now procrastinating? That was certainly the opinion of environmental NGOs.

WWF argued that while it was understandable that leaders were reluctant to commit resources to third countries at a time of economic downturn, they were fundamentally undermining a future climate agreement by asking for reductions from developing countries without promising help in return.

Stephan Singer, director of WWF’s Global Energy Programme, said “turning the responsibility around” by asking developing countries to present proposals to cut their emissions was “a recipe for defeat at the December climate summit in Copenhagen”.

Ahead of the summit, Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, accused the EU of “backsliding on its promises” made in Bali in 2007.

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