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EU leaders threatening to 'kill off' last hopes of a global climate deal

EU leaders are threatening to ‘kill off’ any remaining hope of a good global deal to combat climate change, Christian Aid campaigners are warning today.

As EU leaders wind up their European Council meeting in Brussels this morning, the campaigners have delivered a letter to the EU’s Swedish presidency, condemning current EU proposals as ‘a major failure of ambition in the face of injustice.’

‘The draft text being considered by leaders threatens to kill off any chance of a fair and adequate deal,’ says the letter, from Paul Brannen, head of campaigns at Christian Aid.

‘With only five days of formal negotiations left until Copenhagen, for the EU to advance such a negative position puts the prospect of a deal at risk’.

His warning came as campaigners held a funeral-themed demonstration with a coffin and smartly-dressed ‘mourners’ outside the Swedish Embassy in Marylebone, central London, before delivering the letter to Ambassador Staffan Carlsson.

Christian Aid believes that current EU proposals fall woefully short on both funding for developing countries and on cuts in European emissions. 

On funding, we estimate that poor countries need at least 110 billion Euros a year in additional public finance, to help them with clean development and coping with climate change. We calculate that the EU’s fair share of this is around 35 billion Euros a year – but current EU proposals do not indicate the level of finance Europe is offering and suggest that it may be as little as 2 billion Euros a year.

On emissions, Christian Aid believes that in order to be a leader on climate change, Europe must commit to cuts of more than 40 per cent over 1990 levels by 2020. It should deliver these within EU borders and not through ‘offsets’ bought from the Clean Development Mechanism.

However, the current proposals are so weak that the EU may only have to cut an extra one per cent more than its existing targets for 2012-2020, in order to meet them. ‘This is far from the leadership required,’ states the letter to His Excellency Staffan Carlsson. 

‘We urge your government, as the holder of the EU presidency, to ask the Council to quickly reconsider its position and advance new proposals that provide sufficient finance, adequate emissions cuts and work in accordance with the architecture supported by a majority of negotiating countries.’

Contact Rachel Baird for interviews, pictures and more information: 0207 523 2446, 07545 501 749 and rbaird@christian-aid.org

Notes to editors:

1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in nearly 50 countries. We act where the need is greatest, regardless of religion, helping people build the life they deserve.

2. Climate change is already depriving poor people in many developing countries of their livelihoods.  Christian Aid believes that it must urgently be tackled, in order to help achieve a world free of poverty.  Our new drive, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end global poverty.  Details at www.christianaid.org.uk

3. Christian Aid is calling on Gordon Brown to press rich countries at the crucial UN climate change summit in Copenhagen in December to commit to at least 40 per cent reductions in carbon emissions by 2020.  It also wants the UK government, along with other industrialised countries, to commit to providing more than 110 billion Euros a year to developing countries, along with technology transfers, to enable them to develop in a low carbon way and adapt to climate change. Together with faith-based development agencies in a number of other European countries, we have launched a climate justice campaign called Countdown to Copenhagen. www.christianaid.org.uk/copenhagen

4.  Christian Aid is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition, made up of more than 100 organisations with 11 million supporters.

5.Join ‘The Wave’  – expected to be the largest demonstration in support of climate justice the UK has ever seen. On Saturday December 5, just before the UN summit, an ecumenical service will be held in Central Hall, Westminster, by the Archbishops of Canterbury and Westminster. A carnival-style street procession through London organised by the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition will then take place. Tens of thousands of climate justice campaigners are expected to participate.

6) Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter: http://twitter.com/caid_