Observers at the Copenhagen climate conference from Caritas Internationalis were pretty underwhelmed by commitments from European states to help poor nations in the developing world mitigate unnatural disasters due to global warming, calling the purported new commitments a wind-powered "bluff." In a press release headlined "New EU finance offer a betrayal of developing countries" (can't really mis-parse that one), CI folk and their confreres blasted EU members: "Nelson Muffuh, Senior Policy Advisor at Christian Aid, an Aprodev member, says: ‘The EU offer to provide €2.4 billion near-term finance per year 2010-2012 is largely re-packaging of old aid commitments. Financing for urgently needed action in developing countries is extremely important, but this is nothing but a weak and empty gesture from the EU, mostly made of old promises made over the last two years. This is not justice.'"
According to Caritas, "The EU is considered a global leader on development cooperation. Their failure to commit at this meeting to the essentials of a climate agreement that will protect development is a betrayal of fundamental equity principles of the Climate Convention."
The group is looking for larger commitments of new money to help poor nations sort out the rippling effects of climate changes on their economies and topographies. ‘No new cash basically equals no deal in Copenhagen. This is a fundamental issue of justice and critical for achieving agreement. Developing countries can and should accept no less than this. The EU is looked to for leadership. To turn its back now could prove fatal for developing countries,” says Paul Cook, Advocacy Director, Tearfund.
You can follow CI at Copenhagen more or less live via their daily blog.