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Europe On Track To Meet 7.2 Billion Euro Climate Aid Goal

Nov. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union today confirmed its commitment to providing 7.2 billion euros ($9.9 billion) in climate-related aid for poor nations from 2010 to 2012 after committing 4.7 billion euros so far.

“Despite significant domestic financial challenges and fiscal constraints the EU and its member states have advanced in the implementation of their fast-start finance during 2011 in line with our commitment,” the bloc’s finance ministers said in a statement after their meeting in Brussels.

The aid is a part of $30 billion in finance that wealthy countries promised poor nations in the 2010-2012 period under a deal agreed at climate talks in Copenhagen in 2009.

The 27-member bloc will present a final report on the aid provided in 2011 during the United Nations climate talks in Durban, South Africa, due to start on Nov. 28. The ministers also stressed today the importance of the EU and its members delivering on their climate finance pledges in 2012 as the region steps up efforts to stem a debt crisis.

While the euro crisis may give the governments “a temporary excuse,” they should step up efforts to add new sources of financing the battle against global warming, such as a carbon charge on shipping or a tax on financial transactions,” climate and development lobby Oxfam International said today.

“European governments have done well on meeting their commitments to help poor countries cope with immediate climate change impacts,” said Lies Craeynest, Oxfam’s EU climate change policy adviser. “But they have done this mainly by re-labeling development aid as climate finance.”

The European Commission, the EU regulatory arm, has said in previous months that all climate aid committed by the bloc is new funds.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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