London: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown today called for a global fund worth $100 billion a year to tackle climate change in the developing world, ahead of crunch talks later this year.
Brown warned that “the earth itself will be at risk” unless a conference in Copenhagen in December — which aims to strike a new agreement on rolling back global warming — reaches a strong accord.
“If we are to achieve an agreement in Copenhagen, I believe we must move the debate from a stand-off over hypothetical figures to active negotiation... and an urgent recognition of the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable countries,” Brown said in a speech at London Zoo.
“Today I propose we take a working figure for this purpose of around $100 billion (€70 billion) per annum by 2020.”
Last month, a study from the Global Humanitarian Forum headed by former UN chief Kofi Annan said that climate change is responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people every year, with 325 million of the poorest suffering most.
Brown’s call for a new fund, worth over €70 billion annually, was welcomed by environmental activists Greenpeace.
“By becoming the first major leader to put a figure on how much money is needed, (Brown) has shown signs of leadership on climate change that have so far been sorely lacking,” its chief scientist Doug Parr said.