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EU gets climate deal, UK PM gets knock

Friday, October 24, 2014 - 02:18

EU leaders achieve a show of unity by striking a compromise deal on carbon emissions. But David Cameron's bid to push back EU budget contributions gets a slap in the face as the European Commission demands an extra 2bn euros. David Pollard reports.

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Leaders together for the summit's traditional family photograph. Even more 'family' than usual this time, EU Council President Van Rompuy's grandchildren joining the group. This Council meeting has been searching for unity on a climate and energy deal. Angela Merkel says they found it. (SOUNDBITE) (German) GERMAN CHANCELLOR, ANGELA MERKEL, SAYING: "We have made a crucial step forward, we have set a target which will ensure that Europe will be an important player, an important partner in future commitments to an international climate agreement.'' Talks stretched into the small hours as Poland battled to spare its coal industry and others tweaked the text to protect other interests. In the end, a target was agreed: for a 40 percent cut in emissions against their 1990 benchmark level. Elsewhere, there was disagreement. The EU wants an extra 2.1 billion euros from Britain for EU coffers. David Cameron said 'no way'. (SOUNDBITE) (English) BRITISH PRIME MINISTER, DAVID CAMERON, SAYING: "We are not suddenly going to get out our cheque book and write a cheque for two billion euros, it is not happening." But others, like the Lithuanian president, see it as a normal financial adjustment. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LITHUANIAN PRESIDENT, DALIA GRYBAUSKAITE, SAYING: "Each year, each year we have final revision over budgets because the payments which we pay as members of the European Union are based on prognosis and by the end of the year, European Commission revises and some countries need to pay, some countries receive back. (Journalist asking: "Is that your message to David Cameron?") Probably, yes." It couldn't be more awkward for Cameron. The anti-EU UKIP party has made deep inroads into the heartland of Cameron's Conservative Party. Cameron himself was expected to press Brussels to reduce EU contributions - even before the latest demand. Joe Rundle, Head of Trading, ETX Capital. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOE RUNDLE, HEAD OF TRADING, ETX CAPITAL, SAYING: ''I think it's fantastically bad timing by the EU when they know there's pressure on, by the British public for some form of renegotiation and maybe an exit from the EU, so I think it's pretty silly to bring it up now. It's going to cause a lot of pressure on Cameron and give an extra leg up to UKIP. I don't think that will be particularly good for markets.'' The cash demand comes after a revision of the EU's economic figures - Britain paying more because of higher than expected growth. Under the same revision, France and Italy are expected to get a rebate. Critics say they may need it more - especially as the European Commission has until Wednesday to accept - or reject - their 2015 budgets.

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EU gets climate deal, UK PM gets knock

Friday, October 24, 2014 - 02:18