ENDS Europe Daily, Dec. 20, 2009
Climate accord ‘must be adopted to unblock funds’
The EU will not release the €2.4bn a year “fast-start” climate funding it has pledged for developing countries until all parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopt the Copenhagen Accord, a European Commission official said on Tuesday.
“The cash can’t start flowing until the Copenhagen Accord is adopted by all countries,” the official said. The comments were made at a meeting of environment ministers on Tuesday during which the ministers discussed the outcome of December’s UN summit.
The ministers will hold a more detailed debate on the summit and possible next steps at an informal meeting in Seville on 15 January. The EU should not show its dissatisfaction with the outcome by threatening border tax adjustments, Swedish environment minister Andreas Carlgren said.
“This is a decisive moment in choosing whether to continue pushing for a global agreement or going for a fragmented approach. [Such threats] would take us in a fragmented direction,” Mr Carlgren said. Many ministers blamed the US and China for the failure in Copenhagen.
During the meeting Sweden gave an update on council discussions on proposals to limit CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles. The council generally supports the proposed limit of 175 grams per kilometre, but there is no consensus yet on when it should be introduced.
Member states are also split on whether a proposed limit of 135g/km for 2020 should be weakened or made tougher. Some countries also reiterated the fines proposed by the commission for van manufacturers exceeding the limits are too high.