The European Union (EU) has delayed its decision on how much money it will offer to developing countries to encourage them to sign-up for emissions cuts as part of a new U.N.-sponsored climate change pact, the International Herald Tribune reports.
EU leaders agreed during a summit March 20 to wait for climate change commitments from the United States and other countries before putting a European aid offer on the table, according to the newspaper. European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the decision would likely be made in the second half of 2009.
The newspaper reports that diplomats have said that with a recession and welfare payments stretching national budgets, a climate aid decision is not on top of Europe’s agenda. In addition, environmentalists told the newspaper that delaying EU aid pledges could stall an agreement on a global accord, and could hurt the EU’s credibility as a leader in combating climate change.
The EU agreed in December to cut greenhouse emissions by 20 percent and to ensure that 20 percent of its energy needs come from renewable sources by 2020. They could increase cuts to 30 percent if nations such as the United States, Russia and China followed suit, reports the newspaper.
EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas said that about euros 54 billion or $74 billion a year would be needed to help developing countries cut emissions.