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UK PM hails EU Council climate change breakthrough

Friday 30 October 2009
PM hails EU Council “breakthrough” on climate change

The Prime Minister is optimistic a deal on climate change can be reached at Copenhagen in December after a “breakthrough” during talks at the EU Council.

Gordon Brown said three conditional offers will come from Europe: the provision of long-term finance for developing countries; public finance will be made available; and a fast-track scheme to allow countries to participate immediately after the Copenhagen discussions.

The agreement is conditional on other countries agreeing to contribute their share during the UN climate change conference in Copenhagen.

Mr Brown said:

“We have an agreement that the total cost of climate financing would be around €100 billion annually by 2020, and we believe that the rest of the world should recognise that is the case and that therefore, the developed countries have a role to play in making sure that that climate finance is available so that emerging markets and developing countries can make the climate change investments that are necessary.”

The PM said the EU Council estimates that, subject to negotiations, Europe’s contribution will be in the range of €22-50 billion a year by 2020.

In the short-term, the PM said it was likely that the world’s richest countries would need to contribute €5-7 billion if they agree to the proposed fast-track scheme. The programme would also depend on developing countries showing how that money would be spent.

“We’ve been suggesting these things for some time. [Danish] Prime Minister Rasmussen has been leading the way around the world and I think this is a breakthrough that takes us forward to Copenhagen and makes a Copenhagen agreement possible”.

Mr Brown said that in the next few weeks he would join the Foreign Secretary David Miliband and other ministers, who would make it one of their top priorities to persuade other countries to respond to the European initiative.

The EU Council members also agreed to draw up a European strategy on jobs and growth which will be discussed at the next summit in Brussels.


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