EU Climate Chief Rebuts 'One-sided' Leaked US Embassy Cables

European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard. Photo by: European Commission

The European Union’s top climate envoy has slammed the leaked U.S. embassy cables suggesting the U.S. and the EU of using climate aid to bribe poor nations to sign the Copenhagen Accord.

The accord, brokered by a few nations, specifies USD30 billion in fast-start climate financing for poor nations through 2012. The amount is expected to be scaled up to USD100 billion annually by 2020.

“I can only say that what I could read also in that [cable] is [a] one sided and selective report of what that conversation was all about,” said European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said Dec. 7 on the leaked U.S. cables about her meeting with U.S. Deputy Special Envoy for Climate Change Jonathan Pershing in February.

One cable, leaked to the Guardian by WikiLeaks, says that Hedegaard reportedly told Pershing that the Alliance of Small Island States countries “could be our best allies” with their need for funding.

>> EU Brings up ‘Creative Accounting’ in Climate Aid Discussion with US – Leaked US Cables

Critics say this is tantamount to climate bribery, Euobserver reports.

U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern also dismissed allegations of climate aid bribery, suggesting that countries seeking climate financing were in no position to criticize, the Guardian reports.

Stern cited a confrontation at last year’s Copenhagen summit, where a Norwegian official criticized a counterpart from a developing country, saying, “he just stood up and blasted the person, ‘you can’t on the one hand ask for and make a legitimately strong case for the need for the need for climate assistance and then on the other hand turn around and accuse us of bribery.’”

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  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.