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EC shifts climate bill onto poor and vulnerable countries

European Commission proposals about how poor countries should be helped financially to deal with climate change show a ‘serious lack of ambition’ says Christian Aid.

The Commission said that EU should provide poor countries with between €2 -15bn annually for both adapting to climate change, and reducing emissions. Christian Aid and other climate justice campaigners say the figure should be €35bn a year.

Nelson Muffuh, advocacy coordinator at Christian Aid, said: ‘If this figure is accepted, the goal of limiting global warming to 2oC becomes ever more remote.

‘Pollution from rich countries is already having devastating effects in developing countries, through droughts, floods and tropical storms. Rich countries have to face up to their historic responsibility for the emissions that have caused climate change.’

Christian Aid also criticised the EC’s proposals as relying too heavily on the carbon market to raise the money. The market, it said, does not guarantee reliable financial flows and has earlier proved to disadvantage the poorest nations because of a lack of interest in investing in those countries.

The charity also attacked an annex to the commission’s proposal which said some of the money could come from official development assistance (ODA).

‘This is alarming,’ said Muffuh. ‘In the short term they seem to want to rely totally on ODA for adaptation support which threatens the poverty eradication objectives of developing countries by diverting already meagre resources.

‘For the crucial UN climate change negotiations in Copenhagen in December to stand any chance of success, industrialised countries must strongly commit to providing substantial funding to cover the full incremental costs for sustainable development and adaptation to climate change in developing countries.

‘Many poorer nations are disappointed at the lack of EU leadership. After decades of broken aid promises, the trust gap between rich and poor countries, which it is essential to bridge if we are to counter climate change, simply widens.’

One positive aspect was the EC’s proposal that a specific climate fund be set up under the UN Convention. ‘This is a good initiative that we would like to see elaborated further since it would not be a donor controlled fund,’ said Muffuh.

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For further information contact Andrew Hogg at Christian Aid on 0207 523 2058/ 07872 350534

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 the poor in many developing countries of their livelihoods.  Christian Aid believes the battle against climate change is a key component in alleviating poverty.  We have a vision – an end to poverty.  Our new drive, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to make that vision a reality.  A strong climate deal at Copenhagen is one essential.  Details at www.christianaid.org.uk

3) Christian Aid is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. 11 million strong, we are the committed supporters, campaigners, hearts, minds and voices of more than 100 organisations.

4) Christian Aid press office is now on Twitter – follow us at http://twitter.com/caid_newswire