Germany to make 'biggest' climate fund pledge: Sources

Germany to make 'biggest' climate fund pledge: Sources

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) talsk with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt prior an European Union summit at the European Council headquarters on December 10, 2009 in Brussels. European leaders hope to put together a multi-billion euro fund on Thursday to help developing nations tackle global warming and boost faltering UN climate talks in Copenhagen. AFP

European leaders met  to discuss billions of dollars of aid for developing countries to battle global warming in a bid to increase pressure for a deal at the UN climate summit.

EU governments have so far vowed to provide a total of 3 billion euros ($4.4 billion) over the next three years to a global fund provided by rich nations.

Europe has sought to establish itself at the forefront of the climate campaign and a summit of European Union leaders was expected to produce a promise of six billion euros to help poorer nations between 2010-2012.

The biggest single contribution thus far - 883 million euros - has come from Britain.

While Berlin has been reluctant to make its own contribution known, EU diplomats said that Germany had made "an important pledge" during an EU summit in Brussels.

Britain has offered 800 million pounds while Sweden, which holds the rotating EU presidency, has pledged 765 million euros and Denmark, Belgium and Finland each promised between 100 and 160 million euros today.

Conditions for aid were set by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle who said: "We're not going to hand over a blank cheque so that others can wriggle out of their responsibilities."

Poland's European affairs minister, Mikolaj Dowgielewicz, added: "Nobody wants to pay for Copenhagen."
Germany and France have not announced their figures but France also wants Europe to commit to greater greenhouse emission cuts than the 20 per cent already promised by 2020, against 1990 levels, its environment minister said.

The EU has offered to go to 30 per cent if other industrialised blocs make similar pledges but Environment Minister Jean-Louis Borloo said ahead of the Brussels summit that France wants Europe to set an automatic 30 per cent cut "as soon as possible".

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