British High Commission of Barbados: UK PM Announces Climate Financing Proposal

?This is a make or break time for our climate and our future?, UK Climate and Energy Secretary Ed Miliband said as Britain for the first time ever set out its detailed position ahead of global climate talks.

And making a keynote speech aimed at unblocking the most contentious area of the talks, Prime Minister Gordon Brown broke new ground among world leaders in setting out how the world should pay for avoiding dangerous climate change and adapting to its impacts.

With less than six months left before crucial climate negotiations take place in the Danish capital Copenhagen, the Government today sets out for the first time why an international climate change agreement is vital for the world and what a deal must contain. The UK argues the global deal on climate change must be:

Ambitious ? limit climate change to 2 degrees, by making sure global greenhouse gas emissions peak and start to reduce by 2020, and keep on shrinking to reach at most half of their 1990 levels by 2050.

Effective ? keep all countries to their word with strong monitoring, reporting and verification; and let money flow to where it will make most difference by developing carbon markets

Fair ? support the poorest countries to cut their emissions and adapt to climate change.

Success in Copenhagen is also vital for Britain?s economic future and national security. Building a low carbon Britain and securing a Copenhagen deal will be in our business and economic interests. Over 800,000 people are now employed in the low carbon sector in the UK and well over a million jobs are predicted by the middle of the next decade.

In his speech, the Prime Minister proposed a way forward for developed and developing countries to agree new mechanisms to pay for tackling climate change. He urged countries to work together on a global figure of around $100 billion per year by 2020 to help developing countries reduce their emissions, tackle deforestation and adapt to the climate change already being experienced. He committed the UK to providing new finance additional to existing Official Development Assistance commitments.

Publishing ?The Road to Copenhagen?, a manifesto for a global climate deal, Ed Miliband said:

?This is make or break time for our climate and our future. With less than six months to go before crunch negotiations in Copenhagen, it?s clear that there is no plan B for the planet.

?The world?s got no option but to work together to get a global climate deal that?s ambitious, effective and fair.

?Our climate manifesto puts the British public in the front and centre of our efforts to get a climate deal.

?For people in Britain, getting a global deal now will mean reducing the risk of devastating future climate impacts and the huge extra costs that would bring. But it will also open the door to big new opportunities to create green jobs and economic prosperity.?

In advance of the G8 and Major Economies Summits in Italy next month, Gordon Brown urged his fellow leaders to agree on a new financing system to provide predictable and additional assistance to developing countries. This would comprise investment flowing through a global carbon market, new mechanisms to raise public finance and a limited proportion of Official Development Assistance.

The funds would help developing countries to cut their emissions, use greener technology and reduce deforestation, as well as helping the poorest and most vulnerable countries cope with the effects of climate change already now occurring.

The Prime Minister also proposed far-reaching delivery and institutional arrangements to enhance developing countries? voice in how the money is spent and to enhance coordination between all the institutions dealing with climate finance.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown told ambassadors, green groups and business organisations gathered in London:

The UK is determined to secure an international agreement at Copenhagen that puts the world on a path to avoiding dangerous climate change. All countries have to take action, but to help developing countries move to low-carbon and climate-resilient growth we will need a new system of financial support for greener technology, deforestation and adaptation. I hope the proposals I set out today can help move the talks in that direction.”

Douglas Alexander, the UK?s Development Secretary, added:

Climate change is a development issue. It is the world?s poorest people that are most vulnerable to the rising sea levels and extreme weather that a changing climate will bring, and it is vital that our work in tackling poverty reflects this.

That is why funds are needed in addition to existing aid budgets, and why the UK is leading the way in helping developing countries to both prepare for the impact of climate change and build for a low-carbon future.”

As part of the countdown to Copenhagen, the Government today:

Publishes and lays before Parliament ?The Road to Copenhagen?, a document setting out why a deal is so important and for the first time, the details of what kind a deal the UK Government is pushing for.

Distributes nearly 20,000 ?Road to Copenhagen? pamphlets, also available online, out to schools, citizens advice centres and every library explaining why a global deal is vital and giving 15 top tips on what each of us can do to cut our carbon footprint as part of the global effort.

Launches ? the official UK government website presenting information on the climate change negotiations. It will act as the domestic and international hub for information and communications in the lead up to the UN talks in Copenhagen, 2009.

Presents a new and improved Act on CO2 online carbon calculator where people can log on and find out how to lower their carbon footprint and save money at the save time ?

This announcement forms part of the Government?s 5-Point Plan to tackle climate change:

  • protecting the public from immediate risk
  • preparing for the future through adaptation
  • pushing for an international agreement
  • building a low carbon Britain
  • helping everyone play their part.
It follows the UK Climate Projections published last week which showed that if the world follows a high emissions path, by the 2080’s temperatures in Britain could be up to 12 degrees C warmer on the hottest summer days and sea levels could rise by 18 inches.
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