NEWS

Dimas ire at climate deadlock

European Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas yesterday expressed his frustration at the inability of EU ministers to agree on financial commitments for reaching an international climate change agreement, noting that the deadlock could jeopardize a likely deal at a United Nations conference due to take place in Copenhagen in December. «I am strongly disappointed that our colleagues did not reach an agreement on climate finance,» Dimas said after the talks in Brussels, adding that he hoped another scheduled meeting of EU leaders next week would produce a compromise. «I am sure the leaders know that delaying the figures will not make them any smaller,» he remarked. The commissioner said it was crucial to arrive at a decision on how much each EU member state should contribute to poor nations for their cooperation in the drive to cut the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that cause climate change. «We have quite frequently said ‘no money, no deal.’ Without having money on the table in the negotiations in Copenhagen we shall not be able to reach an agreement,» he said. Environment, Energy and Climate Change Minister Tina Birbili, who attended the talks in Brussels, had not commented on the outcome by late yesterday, although she has insisted that taking the necessary action to curb climate change will be a top priority. In Athens, conservation groups stressed the importance of an agreement in Copenhagen and appealed to Prime Minister George Papandreou to play an active role to ensure this happens. «The Greek prime minister must become the European leader who strives for a successful climate change pact and he must go to Copenhagen to do this,» said Dimitris Ibrahim, a spokesman for Greenpeace’s Athens office.