Europe Pledges $3 Billion to Help Poorer Countries with Climate Change

BRUSSELS, Dec. 11 (UPI) — The European Union has promised to contribute about $3 billion starting next year to help poorer countries deal with climate change, it was announced Friday.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown made the announcement in Brussels in a move aimed at improving chances of an accord next week at climate change talks in Copenhagen.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, also in Brussels for a summit of EU heads of state, said France would contribute some $620 million next year to the so-called fast-start fund, designed to run until 2012.

He said that could amount to an European contribution of more than 6 billion euros — or nearly $9 billion, The New York Times said.

Poor countries are seeking a commitment from the industrialized world to provide long-term financing totaling more than $100 billion each year by the end of the next decade. They also have tried to pressure richer countries to do more to cut their own greenhouse gas emissions.

The EU executive called for rich countries around the world to put together a pool of 5 billion to 7 billion euros a year for fast-start funding. Of this, Europe should commit 500 million to 2.1 billion, it said.

Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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