June 26, 2009

British Prime Minister Calls For Climate Change Funds

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called for a global fund on Friday worth $100 billion a year to help out the developing world with climate change.

He warned that "the earth itself will be at risk" if the conference being helped in Copenhagen in December does not reach an agreement.  The conference goal is to strike a new agreement on rolling back global warming.

"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 dollars (70 billion euros) per annum by 2020."

Former UN chief Kofi Annan was the head of a study from the Global Humanitarian Forum last month, and they found that climate change is responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people each year.

Environmental activist group Greenpeace welcomed Brown's call for a new fund, which is worth over $98 billion.

"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.

"At last a G8 leader is talking about the right order of magnitude... without these kinds of sums, there won't be a deal in Copenhagen and without a deal, the world faces a grave future."