Europe’s climate offer would rob tomorrow's hospitals and schools in poor countries

“The EC proposal would rob tomorrow's hospitals and schools in developing countries to pay for them to tackle climate change today.”
Elise Ford
Head of Oxfam International's EU Advocacy Office
Published: 10 September 2009

Europe’s climate offer would seek to divert money already promised for education and health in poor countries

The European Commission published its paper on climate financing today ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December.

Elise Ford, head of Oxfam International’s EU office, said:

“We welcome the European Commission’s intentions to break the deadlock in global climate talks by moving first. Putting climate financing figures on the table is a necessary first step to open up meaningful negotiations.”

"However, the European Commission proposes that rich countries should take money from existing promises to increase overseas aid spending to 0.7% of national incomes. This would rob tomorrow's hospitals and schools in developing countries to pay for them to tackle climate change today. This will undermine progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals.”

“This is scandalous, especially given Europe's responsibility as one of the world's biggest polluters who has caused the problem, and the onus on them to clean up. It’s now up to EU Member States to come up with a stronger proposal at the European Summit on 17 September, to get a good climate deal that does not come at the price of the future development of poorer countries, who are already being hurt by global warming.”

“Funds to help developing countries to tackle climate change must be additional to aid – not instead of it.”

William Chadza, Executive Director for the Malawian Center for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), said:

“We must consider Europe's top-end offer of €50 billion to be an opening negotiation tactic, which might be a good start to kick-off the talks. However, the real need of developing countries to cope with the impacts of global warming and develop their own low carbon futures will go far higher than this. The rich world will need to do much more to make a real difference to poor people suffering climate change.”

Notes to Editors

Download the Oxfam-Greenpeace media briefing

Paying the Climate Bill: media briefing on the European Commission’s Communication on Climate Finance & what’s next in the countdown to Copenhagen, which covers these questions:

  • How much money is needed for developing countries?   
  • How should the money be governed?
  • What are the key forthcoming dates in negotiations? 
  • What is expected from the most vocal EU member states?