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Senior Chinese official EU says to concentrate on adaptation to climate change in vulnerable countries


 
The European Union said on Thursday the 27-member bloc will concentrate on the adaptation work in vulnerable countries to assist them to adapt to climate change.

"Two hundred million euros (about 252.4 million U.S. dollars) last year has been provided on adaptation projects which can be supporting national adaptation funds," Brice Lalonde from the French delegation told an EU press conference here.

France is the rotating presidency of the European Union since July.

The adaptation fund, which is designed under the Kyoto Protocol, will provide the developing countries with money to adapt to the impact of the climate change. Experts said that at least 15 billion U.S. dollars a year is necessary for the fund.

Echoing Lalonde's comments, Jurgen Lefevere of the European Commission saw adaptation as one of the key components of any Copenhagen outcome next December.

Lefevere said that necessary funding finance investment should be guaranteed in the Copenhagen deal to make sure that "we get the necessary adaptation fund," noting that the Europe is already doing a lot on adaptation.

Posing as a leader of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, Europe has promised to commit to cut its gas emissions by at least 20 percent by 2020 below the 1990 levels. A further 10 percent cut will be pending on other countries' engagement.

The European Union is scheduled to approve a package pact on emissions and energy this month, but the marathon Poznan talks of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) won low expectations due to the current financial crisis and the pending U.S. position on climate change. One possible outcome of the Poznan talks, experts have predicted, might be a decision to launch the fund after the talks, which is still not functioning.

Bo Lim, a principal technical adviser on climate change adaptation of the UN Development Program, told Xinhua that it's absolutely possible for the conference to reach a decision on adaptation fund. "There are still a lot of issues related to the governments of developing countries, but there will be time to craft out the details, in such a way that will meet the needs of the developing countries," Lim said.

At present, there is only tens of millions of dollars available for the adaptation fund, she said. Some worry that due to a lack of money for the fund under the UN convention, its function may not meet the high expectations from the developing countries.

 

Source:Xinhua
Date:Dec 05,2008