* Green fund aims to channel up to $100 billion/yr by 2020
* EU nations only give clear funding pledge to end-2012 -
* Island states, least developed nations in Brussels talks
* 'Stubborn' EU nations jeopardising climate ambition -
(Adds quotes, details of talks, paras 9-12; 17-19)
By Barbara Lewis
BRUSSELS, May 7 EU nations have yet to come up
with a plan on how to fill a multi-billion euro fund to help
tackle climate change, even as the region's executive body hosts
talks with countries likely to bear the brunt of extreme
The European Union recommitted to providing 7.2 billion
euros ($9.4 billion) for the fund over 2010-12, according to
draft conclusions seen by Reuters ahead of a meeting of EU
finance ministers next week.
But after that, how much cash will flow is unclear as the
text, drafted against the backdrop of acute economic crisis in
the euro zone, states the need to "scale up climate finance from
2013 to 2020", but does not specify how.
The Green Climate Fund aims to channel up to $100 billion
globally per year by 2020 to help developing countries deal with
the impact of climate change.
Its design was agreed at international climate talks in
Durban last year.
Europe's Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard is fighting
to build on the fragile international agreement in Durban.
On Monday and Tuesday, together with the Danish EU
presidency, she is holding informal discussions in Brussels with
members of what some call the "coalition of ambition", ahead of
U.N. talks in Bonn later this month.
The coalition is a union of the EU, the Alliance of Small
Island States and the Least Developed Countries. At the U.N.
talks in Durban, it played a lead role in forging agreement on
keeping alive the Kyoto process, the only global framework on
addressing global warming.
Hedegaard told reporters the talks in Brussels were
"informally testing different ideas".
"We are all in agreement: no back-tracking, no less
ambition. What binds us is this idea we will push for ambition."
Representing the low-lying Marshall Islands, Tony deBrum,
minister in assistance to the president, said the EU's
leadership had thrown "a life-line" to parts of the world most
vulnerable to rising sea levels.
"For us, this is a matter of the survival of a people," he
said. "A culture, a language, a way of life."
Non-governmental organisation Oxfam said "intransigence"
from some EU member states was putting the coalition at risk as
they are arguing against firm commitments to finance after 2012.
"At a critical moment in the fight against climate change,
Europe looks to be sitting back rather than stepping up," Lies
Craeynest, Oxfam's EU climate change expert, said.
Debate within the EU has also focused on how much of the
bloc's $30 billion share of the $100 billion should come from
the private sector, which would reduce the need for public
The draft conclusions ahead of the May 15 EU ministerial
meeting noted "further efforts are required to clarify the
concept of private financing and its contribution to the $100
Representing the Danish EU presidency Martin Lidegaard,
minister for climate, energy and building, told reporters there
were gaps to fill in terms of pledges to curb greenhouse gas
emissions and promises of finance.
"There are some areas where only public funds will do,"
Lidegaard said, but added public finance could also help to
leverage private funds.
"Between public and private is definitely an area we have to
Some money could come from levies on shipping and aviation,
although these sources are contentious.
Since January, all airlines using EU airports have been
required to offset their carbon emissions using the EU's
Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), prompting an outcry from some
The level of protest has intensified effort at the U.N.'s
International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to come up with
a global plan for tackling airline emissions. If achieved, that
would justify modifying the EU scheme, the Commission has said.
Experience suggests it would be rash to hope for too much
from ICAO. The European Commission said the EU was driven to
bringing all airlines into its scheme because more than a decade
of talks at ICAO had produced no result.
The Commission is also working with the International
Maritime Organization (IMO) to find a solution for shipping
The draft conclusions called on "the EU and its member
states to further engage effectively in negotiations in ICAO and
IMO to support carbon pricing schemes".
($1 = 0.7625 euros)
(Editing by Jon Hemming)