Europe’s Climate Offer Would Rob Tomorrow's Hospitals and Schools in Poor Countries

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Angela Corbalan, Oxfam International's EU media officer, on + 32 473 56 22 60, angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org

Europe’s Climate Offer Would Rob Tomorrow's Hospitals and Schools in Poor Countries

Europe’s climate offer would seek to divert money already promised for education and health in poor countries

WASHINGTON - The European Commission published its paper on climate financing today ahead of the Copenhagen summit in December.

Elise Ford, head of Oxfam International's EU office, said:

"We welcome the European Commission's intentions to break the deadlock in global climate talks by moving first. Putting climate financing figures on the table is a necessary first step to open up meaningful negotiations."

"However, the European Commission proposes that rich countries should take money from existing promises to increase overseas aid spending to 0.7% of national incomes. This would rob tomorrow's hospitals and schools in developing countries to pay for them to tackle climate change today. This will undermine progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals."

"This is scandalous, especially given Europe's responsibility as one of the world's biggest polluters who has caused the problem, and the onus on them to clean up. It's now up to EU Member States to come up with a stronger proposal at the European Summit on 17 September, to get a good climate deal that does not come at the price of the future development of poorer countries, who are already being hurt by global warming."

"Funds to help developing countries to tackle climate change must be additional to aid - not instead of it."

William Chadza, Executive Director for the Malawian Center for Environmental Policy and Advocacy (CEPA), said:

"We must consider Europe's top-end offer of €50 billion to be an opening negotiation tactic, which might be a good start to kick-off the talks. However, the real need of developing countries to cope with the impacts of global warming and develop their own low carbon futures will go far higher than this. The rich world will need to do much more to make a real difference to poor people suffering climate change."

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Oxfam International is a confederation of 13 like-minded organizations working together and with partners and allies around the world to bring about lasting change. Oxfam works directly with communities and that seeks to influence the powerful to ensure that poor people can improve their lives and livelihoods and have a say in decisions that affect them.

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