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Europe In The Dock: Poor Nations Walk Out Of Rio+20 Talks

Negotiators from developing countries insist wealthy nations must help fund their move to sustainable development. They have proposed a global fund for sustainable development with an initial annual budget of US$30bn (£19bn). But Europeean nations are reluctant to put cash on the table.

Europe’s financial crisis should not be used as an excuse for inaction and underfunding of moves towards a more sustainable global economy, a senior Brazilian diplomat warned at the Rio+20 conference on Thursday as the UN talks suffered a disruption over money.

Negotiators from developing nations walked out of a core working group on the “green economy” because wealthy countries were refusing to include the transfer of money and technology that might achieve this goal.

The wobble was temporary but it bodes ill for the conference because negotiators were already running short of time to draft an agreement ahead of an Earth Summit next week that is billed as a once-in-a-generation opportunity to set mankind on a more sustainable path of development.

The G77 bloc of developing countries and China said cash and intellectual property were crucial to implement the changes envisaged, such as phasing out fossil fuel subsidies, boosting “green jobs” in the fields of renewable energy, moving towards more sustainable agriculture and incorporating social and economic indicators into GDP measurements.

They have proposed a global fund for sustainable development with an initial annual budget of US$30bn (£19bn). But amid a global economic slowdown and austerity in Europe rich nations are reluctant to put cash on the table.

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