EU Plans Climate Change Pact With Poor Countries
"Developing countries will be the hardest hit by the effects
of climate change and therefore need our help to mitigate
climate change and to adapt to the changes already occurring,"
the European Commission said in a statement.
Seven of the 10 deadliest natural disasters of the last 20
years occurred between 2000 and 2006, said the Commission, which
has made the fight against climate change a policy priority.
Brussels provides developing countries with emergency aid
and the new alliance would help them, especially the poorest
states, to prepare for future disasters via funding for alert
systems, special irrigation techniques and other projects.
The plan will also seek to cut emissions from deforestation
-- a major contributor to rising greenhouse gas levels -- and
help developing countries take advantage of the global carbon
The Commission has already earmarked 50 million euros (US$69
million) for the launch of the alliance, which could handle
funds of up to 300 million euros between 2008 and 2010, European
Development Commissioner Louis Michel told reporters,
EU governments should also contribute, he added. "It's just
a start, more money is clearly needed," Michel said.
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries
was cheaper than in developed economies, he said.
The Commission is set to discuss the alliance proposal with
developing countries at a Nov. 7-9 meeting in Lisbon.