New EU finance offer a betrayal of developing countries
11 December 2009
Faith-based development agencies calls new EU finance offer a bluff as Copenhagen approaches the end game.
EU development Ministers need to call for a binding outcome including sufficient short-term and secure long-term financing for climate action in developing countries, in addition to their existing aid commitments.
European faith-based development agencies say EU leaders meeting in Brussels for the last time before going to Copenhagen have failed to use this opportunity to show their commitment to a just and effective financing deal for a new global agreement on climate change.
The EU is considered a global leader on development cooperation. Their failure to commit at this meeting to the essentials of a climate agreement that will protect development is a betrayal of fundamental equity principles of the Climate Convention.
The agencies say that the current impacts of climate change are already too much for many poor countries to bear. It is an additional burden imposed on poor countries by rich countries, requiring additional funding. It is crucial that climate funds are in addition to existing aid commitments, which are needed to tackle issues such as health and education.
Nelson Muffuh, Senior Policy Advisor at Christian Aid, an Aprodev member, says: ‘The EU offer to provide €2.4 billion near-term finance per year 2010-2012 is largely re-packaging of old aid commitments. Financing for urgently needed action in developing countries is extremely important, but this is nothing but a weak and empty gesture from the EU, mostly made of old promises made over the last two years. This is not justice’.
‘However important, near-term finance should not divert attention from long-term needs. Clear commitments on both need to be part of the Copenhagen outcome. So far the EU has refused to specify what it will commit for long-term needs – one of the key issues for developing countries in the negotiations.’ says Niamh Garvey, Environmental Justice Officer of Trocaire, CIDSE and Caritas’s Irish member.
‘No new cash basically equals no deal in Copenhagen. This is a fundamental issue of justice and critical for achieving agreement. Developing countries can and should accept no less than this. The EU is looked to for leadership. To turn its back now could prove fatal for developing countries.”, says Paul Cook, Advocacy Director, Tearfund.
The agencies say EU development Ministers set to come to Copenhagen on Monday must come out strongly on this issue, which is of utmost relevance to their mandates. They need to call for a binding outcome including sufficient short-term and secure long-term financing for climate action in developing countries, in addition to their existing aid commitments.
Patrick Nicholson firstname.lastname@example.org, +393343590700