Women wading through flood water with their children West Midinapur, West Bengal. Credit: Anisa Draboo/Oxfam
EP vote on Emissions Trading Scheme and Effort Sharing proposal

European Parliament recognizes the need to support developing countries in their fight against climate change

“There is a deep injustice in the impacts of climate change.”
Douwe Buzeman
Oxfam’s Climate Change and EU Development Policy Adviser
Published: 8 October 2008

Oxfam welcomed today’s vote by the European Parliament’s Environment Committee on the ETS Directive to use 50% of the auctioning revenues generated from the emission permits for developing countries to tackle climate change via an international fund.

The EU Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) covers almost half of EU emissions, the largest polluting sectors ranging from power generation to heavy industries.

Douwe Buzeman, Oxfam’s Climate Change and EU Development Policy Adviser in Brussels, said: “There is a deep injustice in the impacts of climate change. Rich countries have caused the problem with many decades of greenhouse-gas emissions, but poor countries will be worst affected, facing greater droughts, floods, hunger, and disease”.

Furthermore, the Environment Committee voted in the Effort Sharing proposal, part of the EU Climate Package, to start helping developing countries to adapt to the negative consequences of climate change. The Environment Committee voted for at least 10 billion euros of annual financial assistance by 2020. Oxfam welcomes the fact that this money for developing countries will be additional to existing development money and be provided in grants.

Oxfam would have liked MEPs to have gone further by immediately committing to reduce its domestic emissions by at least 30% by 2020, but welcomes the automatic trigger to 30 % when an international climate change deal is agreed.

The result of the committee vote is just a first step, it forms the basis for further negotiations with the Council in view of an agreement to be officially approved by the Council and Parliament in December. This will coincide with the important UNFCCC summit that will take place in Poznan.

Oxfam calls upon the European member states to follow the European Parliament in showing leadership in helping the developing world to adapt to climate change.

Notes to Editors

  1. The EU has significant responsibility for causing climate change. The EU 27 are home to 8% of the world's population today, but have produced 27% of total carbon dioxide emissions since 1850, and still produce around 15% of annual CO2 emissions today. The EU 27 also accounts for 22% of global GDP; hence they have clear capability to assist.
  2. It will cost in the range of € 34- 61bn ($50-90bn) annually in new and additional finance for all developing countries to adapt to now-unavoidable impacts of climate change
  3. According to Oxfam's Adaptation Financing Index (based on relative responsibility and capability of developed countries), the EU's contribution to adaptation financing should be over 30% of the total needed, and the top five contributors should be Germany, UK, Italy, France and Spain.