BRUSSELS - European Union states are struggling to agree on a common stance for a U.N. climate pact in Copenhagen in December, after leading the way among rich nations, draft documents indicated on Friday.
Documents prepared for meetings of finance and environment ministers next week showed EU silence about stepping up climate aid to developing nations after earlier talk of paying up to 15 billion euros ($22.4 billion) a year.
Poor countries led by China and India say they cannot cut emissions and adapt to changing temperatures without help from industrialized nations, which grew rich by fuelling their industries with hydrocarbons and polluting the atmosphere.
The draft report for finance ministers merely calls the numbers a useful estimate for overall public and private efforts and points to the uncertainty and aggregate level of such numbers.
And a draft for environment ministers avoids mentioning cash. Some nations are wary of showing the EU's hand too early in negotiations on a deal to be agreed in Copenhagen from December 7-18.
The EU executive, the European Commission, last month suggested the EU provide 2-15 billion euros a year by 2020 to break the impasse between rich and poor.
Other developed regions have not put an offer on the table ahead of the December 7-18 meeting in Copenhagen, intended to agree a new global plan to prevent heatwaves, extinctions, wildfires and rising sea levels that will hit poor nations hardest.
And cracks emerged over EU plans for cuts in emissions.
The 27-country bloc has pledged to cut its own emissions to 20 percent below 1990 levels by 2020, and to increase cuts to 30 percent if other rich regions take similar action.
ROMANIA AND SLOVAKIA
But Romania and Slovakia have proposed making the increase to 30 percent less of a foregone conclusion, documents obtained by Reuters show. Romania also questions proposals to cut emissions by up to 95 percent by 2050.
In Nairobi, the United Nations on Friday urged a smarter approach to biofuels that could be part of a shift to renewable energies under a Copenhagen deal.
A more sophisticated debate is urgently needed, U.N. Environment Programme Executive Director Achim Steiner told reporters of a UNEP report on biofuels. He said some were climate friendly but others highly questionable.
The report said production and use of biodiesel from palm oil on deforested tropical peatlands could lead to significant increases in greenhouse gas emissions.
Generating electricity at power stations using wood, straw, seed oils and other crop or waste material was generally more energy efficient than converting biomass to liquid fuels, it said.
Another expert said a rising human population meant agriculture needed to raise productivity rapidly and expand in key farming areas like the Black Sea and Africa.
Regardless of the impact of climate change, we are going to have to produce a lot more food in the coming decades, J.B. Penn, chief economist at farm equipment maker John Deere, said in Iowa.
(With reporting by Daniel Wallis in Nairobi and Roberta Rampton in Des Moines; writing by Alister Doyle; editing by Andrew Roche)