Gordon Brown calls for climate change fund to help poorest nations
The Prime Minister said the economies of the developing nations need help as they adapt to the changing global climate
A boy stands in a parched maize field
Gordon Brown today proposed the establishment of a $100 billion a year international fund to help the world’s poorest nations adapt to the impact of climate change.
Presenting his manifesto for talks on international climate change in Copenhagen at the end of the year, the Prime Minister said it was essential to cap damaging carbon emissions to stabilise global warming. At the same time, he said, the developed countries must provide assistance to the developing nations to enable their economies to grow while adapting to the changing global climate.
Mr Brown said the goal from Copenhagen must be "no more than two degrees" — referring to the growing understanding that an increase of more than two degrees Centigrade in the world average temperature was dangerous. To leave room for the growth of the developing world, the developed countries needed to reduce their own emissions by at least 80 per cent by 2050.
He proposed a “working figure” of $100 billion dollars (£60 billion) a year by 2020, to be financed through the growth of the international carbon market, with a limited amount of development aid.
Speaking at the launch of the manifesto at London Zoo, Mr Brown committed Britain to paying its “fair share” of the global total and said he expected other developed countries to do the same. “Over recent years the world has woken to the reality of climate change. But the fact is that we have not yet joined together to act against it. Copenhagen must be the moment we do so,” he said. “If we act now, if we act together, if we act with vision and resolve, success at Copenhagen is within reach. But if we falter, the Earth itself will be at risk.”
Mr Brown said that, to limit the rise in temperature, overall emissions must peak by 2020 and be cut by at least half on 1990 levels by 2050. “We know from our growing understanding of the impacts of climate change that an increase of more than 2C is dangerous,” he said.
The Prime Minister offered to back a Norwegian proposal for the setting aside and auctioning of a small percentage of national emissions allowances to help finance the assistance to developing nations.
“An ambitious agreement in Copenhagen is certainly achievable. And yet it remains far from certain,” he said.
“We cannot allow this to drift — when every year of delay retards investment, locks us into a higher emissions pathway, worsens the impacts on the poorest and most vulnerable, and increases the costs of eventual reduction.