|British Prime Minister Gordon Brown
called on Friday for the creation of a $10 billion a year fund to
help developing countries battle climate change.
Brown made the
proposal as Commonwealth leaders met to try to build momentum for an
agreement in global climate talks in Copenhagen next month.
Under Brown's proposal, funds could be made available to poor
countries as early as next year, well before any new climate deal
The European Union has already looked at similar proposals for
"fast-start" financing but has so far been unable to agree on a
"What I feel the developing countries need to know is that we are
absolutely serious that we would start now" to provide financing,
Brown told a news conference on the sidelines of the summit in
Trinidad and Tobago.
"What I'm proposing today is a Copenhagen launch fund. It would
start in 2010. It would be $10 billion per annum by 2012," he said.
The 53-nation Commonwealth brings together wealthy and developing
Brown believes the fund would give the developing world greater
confidence that rich countries would give them financial support and
so encourage them to act to counter climate change.
The fund would run from 2010 to 2012, increasing to $10 billion
in the final year, under Brown's plan. Brown aides could not say how
big the fund would be in the first two years.
Britain is prepared to contribute 800 million pounds ($1.31 billion)
-- already set aside in Britain's budget -- over three years to the
fund, officials said.
Brown said he believed the EU and the United States would also be
ready to contribute to the fund.
EU leaders said last month that developing countries will need 100
billion Euros ($149 billion) a year by 2020 to battle climate
Brown said half of the money in his proposed launch fund should go
toward helping the poorest countries adapt to climate change, by for
example financing stronger sea and flood defences.
The other half would help countries deal with deforestation and
building new, cleaner energy sources.
Developing countries would have to provide part of the finance for
projects to lessen the impact of climate change and payment from the
fund would depend on results.