News

European Leaders Home In on Global Warming Policy

The European Commission has called on the bloc to collectively earmark about $3 billion yearly in assistance for developing countries to cope with climate change.

A creation by French artist Francois Barge 'Message de glace' (Ice Message), made of three 400 kg ice cubes, to denounce global warming on the eve of the December 7-18 UN climate conference in Copenhagen, 06 Dec 2009
A creation by French artist Francois Barge 'Message de glace' (Ice Message), made of three 400 kg ice cubes, to denounce global warming on the eve of the December 7-18 UN climate conference in Copenhagen, 06 Dec 2009

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Bryant

As international negotiators continue climate change talks in Copenhagen, they are watching another European capital, Brussels, where European leaders are meeting Thursday and Friday to firm up their global warming policy.

The year-end summit of European Union leaders is expected to tackle a number of issues, including international banking supervision and Afghanistan. But climate change is expected to top the agenda.

European heads of state are expected to agree on a dollar amount for short-term aid for developing countries to cope with climate change. The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, has called on the bloc to collectively earmark about $3 billion yearly in assistance, between 2010 and 2012. So far, Britain and Sweden have announced short-term pledges, which are voluntary. Most members have not.

Jason Anderson, head of EU climate and energy policy at the environment group WWF, says it is important the pledges amount to new money - rather than simply reshuffling existing aid. And, he says, Europe must agree on long-term aid to poor nations.

"In terms of the long term, I think they need to acknowledge the scale and be willing to put in a more specific offer for Europe's fair share of that scale, recognizing there is negotiation here, so it doesn't have to be a final fixed figure on the table, but it has to be consistent with the overall scale," he said.

So far, EU leaders have agreed only that a general, global figure of $150 billion in aid is needed, but they have not specified their own share of that sum.

Environmental groups are also backing Britain's call for the EU to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent by 2020, instead of their agreed 20 percent.

"There have been a number of studies showing that Europe moving to 30 percent would actually be an economic gain for Europe. And that includes if other countries don't take a gain at the same level, although they have to join later," said Jason Anderson. "The reason for that is that every time you cut, you're putting into place policies that use less energy, energy costs money and, in fact, you're saving money."

But business leaders, along with EU members like Poland and Italy, strongly oppose deeper cuts, arguing they will hurt European economies that are slowly emerging from the financial crisis.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs