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New EU finance offer a betrayal of developing countries

European faith-based development agencies say EU leaders have failed to show their commitment to just and effective financing for a new global agreement on climate change.
The EU is considered a global leader on development cooperation.

However, today's failure by EU ministers to commit to the essentials of a climate agreement that will protect development is a betrayal of fundamental equity principles of the Climate Convention.

The agencies say that the current impacts of climate change are already unbearable for many poor countries.

Climate change is an additional burden imposed on poor countries by rich countries and require additional funding.

It is crucial that climate funds are in addition to existing aid commitments, which are needed to fund services such as health and education.

Nelson Muffuh, Senior Policy Advisor at Christian Aid, says: ‘The EU offer to provide €2.4 billion near-term finance per year between 2010-2012 is largely a repackaging of old aid commitments. Financing for urgently needed action in developing countries is extremely important - but this is nothing but a weak and empty gesture from the EU. It is little more than old promises made over the last two years. This is not justice’. 

Niamh Garvey, Environmental Justice Officer of Trocaire, CIDSE and Caritas’s Irish member, says: ‘However important, near-term finance should not divert attention from long-term needs. Clear commitments on both need to be part of the Copenhagen outcome. So far, the EU has refused to specify what it will commit for long-term needs – one of the key issues for developing countries in the negotiations.’ 

Paul Cook, Advocacy Director of Tearfund says: ‘No new cash basically equals no deal in Copenhagen.  This is a fundamental issue of justice and it is critical for achieving an agreement.  Developing countries can and should accept no less than this. The EU is looked to for leadership. To turn its back now could prove fatal for developing countries.”

The agencies say that EU development Ministers, who are set to come to Copenhagen on Monday, must come out strongly on finance, which is of utmost relevance to their mandates. They need to call for a binding outcome, including sufficient short-term and secure long-term financing for climate action in developing countries, in addition to existing aid commitments.

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For more information please contact Andrew Hogg on (00 45) 40975304 or (00 44) 07872 350 534 / ahogg@christian-aid.org
Rachel Baird on (00 45) 40973665 or (00 44) 7545 501 749 / rbaird@christian-aid.org

Notes To Editors:

1. Countdown to Copenhagen is a climate justice campaign instigated by APRODEV, an association of 17 major faith-based development and humanitarian aid organisations in Europe, which work closely with the World Council of Churches. The campaign is now active in 24 countries worldwide. APRODEV members and partner organisations along with members of CIDSE, an international network of 16 Catholic development agencies, have collected more than 250,000 pledges from individuals that they will help save the planet. Taking the pledge included a commitment to reduce personal carbon footprints through recycling, reusing and reducing consumption, as well as an undertaking to write to political leaders pressing for a climate change agreement that is fair to poor countries. The pledges will be handed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu to to Yvo de Boer, the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on 13 December in a ceremony at  11.30am in Town Hall Square, Copenhagen.

2. Christian Aid, a member of APRODEV, 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.

3. Christian Aid wants rich countries at the UN climate change summit in Copenhagen to commit to at least 40 per cent reductions in carbon emissions by 2020.  It also wants 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.

4.  Christian Aid is a member of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition which represents 11 million members across 100 UK organisations.  All are united in their demand for an end to dirty coal, and a fair and just international climate change deal that protects the worlds’ poorest communities.

5. 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

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

7. Pictures at http://www.flickr.com/photos/christian_aid_media


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