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Who is to pay?

2009/09/11

The European Commission yesterday presented its proposal on how to model the international financing of climate change action. The Commission counts on that developing countries will be in need of 100 billion euro per year. That is approximately the size of the EU budget. The money for action in developing countries would be financed partly by the developing countries themselves, by incomes from emissions trading and by public funds in industrialized countries. There are primary two different guiding criteria for the burden-sharing.

• The emission of greenhouse gases
• The economic prosperity

The EU produces roughly one third of the global economy, but only 11 percent of global emissions. While for example the share of the global emissions for the big growing economies like China, India and Brazil is twice as big as their shares of the global economy. Here we need to find a compromise that is acceptable for everyone.

It’s good that the Commission has presented this concrete proposal, which will serve as a good starting-point for further discussions. Up to now, it is obvious that the EU sticks together and really takes the leadership in the climate issue. That’s good, but that cannot be said about the other countries. A lot of work remains to be done until the UN conference in Copenhagen in december. In the immediate future, the EU Heads of State and Government will be gathering on 17 september to co-ordinate for the G20 summit in Pittsburg on 24-25 September. Let’s hope for some fruitful climate discussion there!

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