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“Eu Leaders to Work Through the Night for Third World Climate Funds”
by EUobserver - LEIGH PHILLIPS   
December 11th, 2009

 BRUSSELS - EU leaders at a summit in Brussels are to push on through the night to come up with more money to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change over the next three years.

"We need €5-€7 billion annually before 2013," Swedish Prime Minister Frederik Reinfeldt told reporters after an evening of talks in the EU capital.

"We are still working on putting them together. We will work through the night and come back tomorrow to ensure we have bigger figures on table."

As developing countries are already suffering the most from increased drought, floods and other climate disasters, they cannot wait for the world to agree to a much larger pool of money for climate action, which is expected to be agreed at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen but which will not be available until 2013.

The EU cash is a stop-gap measure aimed at bridging this period and at building trust among developing nations that the larger amount is on its way.

Countries need the cash both to adapt to climate change by such measures as building seawall defences against rising tides and developing more drought-resistant crops.

It is understood that a total of 15 EU member states have pledged monies for the fund, known as "fast-start" financing, on a voluntary basis.

Not all member states are coming forward, however.

The Swedish EU presidency on the eve of the summit promised €765 million over three years from its own treasury, building on an earlier UK pledge of €880 million.

Finland, the Netherlands and Spain each offered €300 million over the three years, EU officials said. Denmark offered €160 million. Belgium and Poland each offered a total of €150 million, while Austria is considering between €80 and €140 million.

In the morning, leaders have been asked to put their final figures on the table.

"Tomorrow we'll wake up with better figures," said Mr Reinfeldt.

The offers are based on a European Commission proposal dating back to September, which analysed what it felt was the European Union's "fair share" of the funding needed.

The EU executive called for rich countries around the world to put together a pool of between €5 and €7 billion a year for fast-start funding. Of this, Europe should commit between €500 million and €2.1 billion, it said, while adding that the bloc should strive to increase its contribution beyond this range.

In comparison, Europol, the European criminal intelligence agency based in the Hague today revealed that EU member states had been swindled out of €5 billion in lost VAT revenues by criminals as a result of loopholes in the bloc's flagship mechanism for reducing greenhouse gases, the Emissions Trading Scheme.

Over the medium to longer term, development NGOs have called on the EU to commit to a minimum of €35 billion a year post-Copenhagen in funds for third world climate adaptation and mitigation by 2020.

Art's Commentary.....The tide is running high for World Government. World leaders are going to have their way.

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