We wrote yesterday that two major sticking points in the lead-up to a Copenhagen agreement seemed to be settled, but two big issues remained: 1. How much money rich countries will give poor countries; and 2. Whether the US Congress will approve an emissions target in time.
On that first point, EU members are, surprise surprise, in disagreement about exactly how much money to give to the developing world to fight climate change, how to share the costs amongst themselves — and even about how to talk about that sum, from a tactical viewpoint.
EU finance ministers failed to reach agreement at a meeting yesterday meaning heads of state will take up the discussion later this month. Some of the different views are a little predictable: coal-dependent Poland, for example, one of the poorer EU states, argues it will face enough costs meeting its own emissions targets without giving money to other countries, too.
The northern, wealthier, greener states tend to be more supportive of making a commitment at the upper end of the range proposed by the European Commission – some €15bn a year. Sweden’s finance minister, for example, said it was “very disappointing” that no agreement was reached yesterday.
Meanwhile some countries, such as Luxembourg and Germany are against putting a number on the table too early. From Reuters:
“We got stuck on the definition of internal allocation that is desired by some countries… and how to internally compensate states that could be more overburdened than average,” Deputy Finance Minister Joerg Asmussen told reporters.
“I warned, from the German side, against putting complete figures on the table too early,” he added.
Italy is also advocating wariness on providing a number, according to the WSJ.
It’s unlikely that any of this will seriously affect Copenhagen talks, where the EU will present a unified view, based on the EC’s estimate that global public financing should total €22bn – €50bn per year. This is regardless of the behind-the-scenes scuffles about how the burden is distributed between member states.
On the other hand, the rest of the developed world hasn’t even begun to talk about financing numbers yet.
Progress on Copenhagen: Two down, two to go (FT Energy Source, 20/10/09)
Obama could go to Copenhagen, but only if the talks go well (FT Energy Source, 20/10/09)
Will the Kerry-Boxer bill pass in time for Copenhagen? (FT Energy Source, 30/09/09)