UK, France to give £1.5bn for climate fund
Brussels: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Friday announced that the UK and France would give over GBP 1.5 billion over the next three years to developing countries to hopefully secure a climate deal at Copenhagen.
The announcement was made during the European Union (EU) summit in Brussels after the leaders reconvened on Friday after a night of diplomatic arm twisting on Day 1, aimed at securing EUR 6 billion in pledges to help poor nations tackle climate change. The pronouncement is sure to provide a boost to UN climate talks in Denmark.
EU leaders are working in Brussels over how much to pay to an international global warming fund.
A determined Brown said: “This is the time for more than just speaking words. This is the time to act”.
Long-term support is required for developing countries, Brown noted, while talking to media with French President Nicolas Sarkozy standing beside him.
However, it still remains unclear as to how much some other European nations will commit to the fund.
"The offer of money today will show we`re serious about dealing with the global problem of climate change," Brown said.
"The Copenhagen deal must be consistent with a maximum global warming of 2C.”
"The agreement must include a financial framework that is for the short-term, medium-term and long term, and so we have agreed this: that it must include a fast-start launch fund for 2010-2012 which is USD 10 billion annually."
Sarkozy and Brown further said that they want the EU to agree to a 30% emissions reduction from 1990 levels over the next decade.
EU states have already agreed to cut 20% emissions by 2020 and have offered to slash 30% if other developed countries make similar offers in Copenhagen.
"France and Britain want an agreement to cut (EU) emissions by 30% by 2020. We are the two countries pushing Europe to pursue this ambitious goal," Sarkozy said during a joint news conference with Brown.
On the Day 1, EU leaders had wanted to secure a joint offer of around EUR 6 billion over three years.
Earlier in the day, Brown had predicted that the bloc would reach an agreement.
"I believe Europe will today make an offer to push forward the Copenhagen talks," Brown had said according to his office.
"Europe will pay its share of a USD 10 billion fast track finance fund. Europe will also offer to pay its fair share of the USD 100 billion long-term finance required annually by 2020."
The Swedish EU presidency worked with national officials through the night in an attempt to squeeze more pledges for the so-called `fast-start` money to help tackle rising sea levels, deforestation, desertification and other problems associated with climate warming as well as doing what they can to slow it down.
The first day of the European summit had broken up late Thursday with the EU presidency still short of its goal but confident that more money could be forthcoming.
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