Good old Europe. Just when you hoped that European leaders would finally pull together and show leadership at Poznan to force through a deal, they just end up doing what they do best. Squabbling. So much so that the EU in-fighting has undermined the climate talks in Poznan.

There is no doubt that the Poznan talks “have been overshadowed by internal EU wrangling about its 2020 climate  package” argues the NGO newsletter on the talks, Eco, in its daily briefing.

Overshadowing the end of the Poznan conference is the gathering of European heads of state and governments in Brussels to decide on the EU’s climate change policies up to 2020.  There is no doubt that Europe’s reputation as the global leader in the fight against climate change is on the line. The signs, at the moment are not encouraging.

The Guardian reports how the European leaders are “ acutely divided over how to deliver on pledges to combat global warming almost two years after declaring they would show the rest of the world how to tackle climate change.”

The paper continues: “The EU is split between the poorer east and the wealthy west. Germany says that most of their industries need not pay to pollute, Italy says it cannot afford the ambitious scheme, and Britain says that the package on the table could result in huge windfall profits for companies.”

There is said to be a “very big chasm” with heads of states and governments said to be getting “cold feet ” about the decisions they have to make. Whereas Diplomats are saying that failure is not an option, we have to make sure that the politicians do not concoct a political fudge that is dressed up as success but smells of failure.

But with “Polish veto threats, Italian resistance, and German insistence that it will not jeopardise jobs to help save the planet” and action looks set to be severely diluted, just at a time when the world is looking to Europe to show “true leadership”.

However, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who are watering down any deal by the hour, are arguing for wider exemptions for polluting industries are believed to be “getting their way”.

It will be so much easier for Obama to push through radical action if the EU has moved first. It will be so much easier for developing countries to believe in the post-Kyoto process is the developed world – especially the EU – look like they are prepared to jump first with serious CO2 cuts.

The President of the EU, Jose Manuel Barrosso has said it is a “question of credibility” that the EU comes up with a serious package. “It would be a real mistake for Europe to give the signal that we are watering down our position.”

I could not put it better myself Jose. If the EU fails in the next 48 yours, the credibility of it as a political institution that can be taken seriously on the world stage would be fatally undermined.