EU plans for Copenhagen climate summit

Publish date: January 27, 2009

BRUSSELS - Today, the European Commission has tabled proposals for a new global climate change agreement, due to be concluded in Copenhagen in December. The proposals include, among other things, an estimate of the amount of international financing necessary to mitigate and adapt to climate change.

 The proposals have been tabled in a communication from the Commission to the other EU institutions. It suggests specific commitments to be made by EU heads of state and government when they meet next on March 19th and 20th in Brussels.

Some of the more precise proposals relate to financing. The Commission says global net incremental investments to reduce global emissions need to increase towards €175 billion by 2020. This is somewhat lower than the estimate of what others believe is needed – something more in the range €200-300 billion),according to the McKinsey report launched on Monday.

Most of this is expected to be financed nationally and through carbon credit trading between developed and developing countries. But the Commission also suggests that in addition, rich countries need to mobilise new, innovative financing of both mitigation and adaptation in poorer countries in the range of €30 billion per year by 2020.

Another notable proposal is to quadruple by 2020 research funding in the EU for clean technologies and efficient adaptation.

While the Commission proposals concretise some ideas in the international climate change negotiations, many questions remain unsolved, such as a formula for determining developed countries’ national emission caps in the future. Furthermore, the proposals are not coupled with any new EU legislative proposals, thereby making them dependent on the precise implementation of existing EU legislation. For example, the Commission calls on Member States to use a significant portion of auction revenues from the ETS to finance low-carbon development.

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