UN accuses EU of altering Bali deal

European Union leaders could derail progress in the fight against global warming if they fail to agree financing for greenhouse-gas emissions cuts in developing countries, the United Nations’ top climate change official, Yvo de Boer, told the Financial Times. Financing is key to gaining the consent of developing countries on a post-2012 emissions accord.


De Boer — executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) — said he feared the EU was retreating on earlier promises and rewriting an agreement made at the 2007 UN climate conference in Bali, Indonesia.


“It’s clear that we need significant financial support [for poor countries] on the table,” he said. “I think it is essential that the EU comes up with an amount” at the EU’s spring council meeting. De Boer estimated that, to curb their emissions, developing countries would require US$5 billion to US$10 billion annually beginning in 2010, increasing massively to US$220 billion a year by 2020.


The compliance period for the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol, the current pact on emissions, expires in 2012. A successor agreement is to be negotiated at a UN climate conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, in December.


Poor countries seek assurances that financing mechanisms will be incorporated into a new pact. They also want guarantees on the funding amounts that they can expect in the decades ahead.


While the EU has led the world on proposing deep emissions cuts, of 20% or 30% by 2020, talks on financing have stalled because of the opposition of some countries. In draft proposals, EU diplomats included estimates of their contributions to developing nations. However, they have removed them from final texts and repeatedly refused to put forth specific numbers, or determine how they will be financed.


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