Fight Over Climate Aid Threatens to Derail Copenhagen Talks

| Mon Nov. 30, 2009 5:38 PM EST

Less than a week before the Copenhagen climate conference begins, confidential documents reveal that the EU is pushing to use existing aid money, not new funds, to help poorer nations reduce emissions and adapt to climate change—a stance that NGOs say could derail the entire summit.

According to documents obtained by The Guardian, EU negotiators have removed lines from a proposed draft agreement that call for a new climate fund for poor countries most vulnerable to the effects of climate change. The text says the EU "cannot accept" proposed language that would call for climate aid to be "additional to" and "separate from" other development assistance funds.

If climate funds were to come entirely from existing pools of money, that would pose a huge problem for international negotiations. The United Nations has estimated that poor countries need as much as $170 billion per year to adapt to climate change. That's $50 billion more than developed countries spent on aid last year.

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