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EU Urges Washington to Do More on Climate Change

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The European Union (EU) on Friday urged the United States to do more for an international deal on the global fight against climate change.

"We need US support. We need stronger US action on climate change," Swedish Finance Minister Anders Borg, whose country holds the EU rotating presidency, told reporters after concluding a two-day informal meeting with his EU counterparts in the Swedish port city of Gothenburg.

In the lead-up to the United Nations conference on climate change in Copenhagen this December, at which a new international deal on the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is expected to be signed to replace the Kyoto Protocol after it expires in 2012, EU finance ministers on Friday discussed the issue of how to help poor countries combat climate change.

Developing countries have called for generous financial support from rich countries in their efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the impact of global warming, for which industrialized nations are historically responsible.

But climate financing has proved to be a stumbling block in the current international negotiations ahead of the Copenhagen conference.

In early September, the European Commission unveiled a blueprint for scaling up international finance to help poor nations, proposing that the EU would contribute some 2 to 15 billion euros (US$2.9 to US$ 22 billion) a year by 2020, a sum criticized by developing countries as not enough.

So far, the United States has not given any figure of its contribution.

"We have some countries that are very, very skeptical (of a global deal) and if we are going to make progress it cannot only be Europe that is showing leadership," Borg said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 3, 2009)

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