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EU and US need to catch up after disappointing start in Poznan

11 December, 2008 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Developing countries have made great strides in the last year in meeting the climate challenge but the EU and US need to inject new momentum after a disappointing start to the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, said Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún.

Speaking from the UN Conference, Bairbre de Brún, MEP, said:

"If the richer countries of the world can reduce their own emissions and provide financial and other support for actions in developing countries, then developing countries have shown that they can and will bring forward new ways of working."

"Neither the EU nor the US have brought the kind of proposals needed to the Poznan conference so far. The EU climate and energy legislation has not yet passed and may not be as strong as it should be and the new US administration has not yet taken over. Both the EU and US will need to do a lot to catch up, including scaling up finance and investment flows for adapting to tackling climate change and for adapting to the change already taking place."

The rescue packages put together in response to the financial crisis show how countries can find major finance at short notice to deal with pressing needs.

"We must mobilise on the same scale if we are successfully to stop catastrophic climate change from occurring. It is no longer a question of whether we can but of whether it is a big enough priority for us," continued Bairbre de Brún.

"Two messages must come out of the UN climate talks in Poznan this week. Firstly, that fighting climate change, promoting sustainable development and stimulating the global economy can and must go hand in hand. Secondly, that the debate is no longer about whether the world can find finance rapidly to tackle climate change but how to raise it, how to manage it and how to spend it.

"We heard in Poznan this week of many exciting and innovative actions in China, Brazil, Indonesia and other developing and emerging economies. If we want to increase the scale of these actions, we need to be prepared to support them through cooperation, technology transfer, finance and capacity building. We in Europe have recently provided significant incentives for our industries to move towards green technologies and Barak Obama has promised to do the same when he takes over as US President. We need to learn the lesson that industry in developing countries needs similar incentives, but that it is up to the richer countries to help." ENDS

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