It's all about numbers!
Here at 350.org we know how important numbers are in the climate game. The EU however seems to shy away from putting solid numbers on the table. At the EU council spring meeting - happening today and tomorrow - Ministers for Finance and Ministers for Foreign Affairs got the ball passed by Ministers for Environment who met earlier this month to discuss funding for mitigation and adaptation efforts by developing countries. The council was expected to put numbers on the table but now it looks more likely that a clear statement on how much money the EU will spend on financing mitigation and adaptation efforts by developing countries will be delayed to June. Without a clear statement on how much money the EU will provide for developing countries it is questionable if developing countries will agree to a new global climate deal end of the year in Copenhagen. Especially rapid-developing countries like China stated that their engagement in mitigation actions under a new global deal depends on financial support by long-industrialized countries which bear main historical responsibility for the climate crisis.
The EU has a long track-record of presenting itself as taking leadership on climate change policies with a commitment of 20% reduction on greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 levels by 2020 and a 30% reduction target in case other industrialized countries - mainly the US - will follow their example. However, under the circumstances of global recession the EU seems to be more interested in quick measures for economical recovery than long-term climate change leadership. Although both crisis - the climate crisis and the financial crisis - could be handled with the same instrument: high investments in low-carbon technologies and infrastructure.
To avoid torpedoing the global deal the EU should not shy away from former commitments and will have to put solid numbers for funding developing countries efforts on the negotiation table. To bring our world back to 350 ppm the EU must also take a leading position on low-carbon investments and push for those at the next G 20 meeting which is happening beginning of April. Climate negotiations are a numbers game and if we want to achieve a global deal this year that will lead us back to 350 ppm we need to keep up the pressure on the EU over the all-dominant next month. That is why 350.org team members and supporters will closely follow the EU position at the upcoming UN climate talks in Bonn and the G 20 meeting in London.