Protesters block EU finance ministers

Green protesters blocked the entrance to European Union headquarters in Brussels on Tuesday, urging EU finance ministers meeting inside to bail out the earth, Reuters reported. The group of about 100 Greenpeace activists demanded that the EU devote billions of euros to helping poor nations address climate change.


Poor countries blame rich ones for causing climate change and argue that wealthy nations do not do enough to help the poor adapt to global warming. Adaptation techniques include creating crops that are resistant to drought or floods, and helping to build barriers against rising sea levels.


Success at United Nations climate talks in Copenhagen later this year could hinge on whether cash will be found for a climate fund to persuade poor nations to help tackle climate change. The December talks will centre on negotiating a successor to the Kyoto protocol, the current international agreement on greenhouse-gas emissions.


Europe and the United States are seen as the main potential sources of finance, and the EU is now debating the size and source of its share. A draft report for the finance ministers’ meeting said industry should be the main source of money for the climate fund.


Greenpeace wants European governments to contribute 35 billion euros (US$44.41 billion) annually. “Finance ministers are giving billions of taxpayers’ money to failed banks, but we’re here to make sure they also put money on the table to tackle climate change,” said climate campaigner Thomas Henningsen. “If the planet were a bank, they would bail it out.”


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