Brussels: Anti-poverty campaign group Oxfam attacked European politicians on Sunday for “cannibalizing” existing development aid budgets and repackaging them as part of a deal to fight climate change.
The day before leaders meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a new deal to combat climate-warming emissions, Oxfam said it had found evidence that exposed “undercover accounting” in some rich nations’ pledges to help poor nations tackle the climate threat.
Finance has emerged as one of the key obstacles in the talks to replace the Kyoto Protocol, the UN’s main tool for dealing with global warming which expires in 2012.
Developing nations want billions a year to help them adapt to a problem they say was initially caused by industrialized countries as they built up their economies, fuelling them with fossil fuels.
The European Union (EU) says poor countries will need around €100 billion (Rs6.96 trillion) a year by 2020, of which as much as half would come from the public purse globally.
But it has also proposed up to $10 billion (Rs46,300 crore) a year of “fast start” funding in the three years before any Copenhagen deal kicks in. The US has embraced the idea of early funding, but has been less forthcoming on long-term aid.
“The financial support— short or long term—is probably the most important bargaining chip that developed countries have at their disposal when seeking a comprehensive global agreement,” said an informal paper by Sweden, which holds the EU presidency until the end of this year.