British PM backs $113B climate fund for 3rd World

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says wealthy nations should establish a fund that could spend 60 billion pounds (about $113 billion Cdn) a year to help developing countries combat climate change.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says wealthy nations should establish a fund that could spend 60 billion pounds (about $113 billion Cdn) a year to help developing countries combat climate change.

Brown said the fund, to be in place by 2020, could be funded through the expansion of an international carbon trading market and through existing aid mechanisms.

The funding model was first discussed at a conference in Denmark in May. Last week in Brussels, European Union leaders again discussed it but said a final decision on financing wouldn't come for a few months.

The EU leaders did agree on terms for funding projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to deal with the adaptations to a warming climate.

The establishment of a fund to aid poorer countries is a topic that will likely continue to be debated in the months leading up to December's global climate-change talks in Copenhagen.

Some developing countries are hesitant to commit to strict emission curbs on the grounds that much of the emissions of the last century come from developed nations. As a result, wealthier nations are looking at establishing incentives to get universal support for a new global climate pact.

Copenhagen summit in December to shape policy

"We need to ensure that adequate financing is mobilized and we must ensure that it is firmly linked to specific mitigation and adaptation actions in the emerging countries," said Danish Prime Minister Loekke Rasmussen at an event organized by the European Policy Centre think-tank.

Brown echoed Rasmussen's comments Friday while delivering a speech at the London Zoo.

"If we act now, if we act together, if we act with vision and resolve, success at Copenhagen is within reach. But if we falter, the Earth itself will be at risk," Brown said.

World leaders will meet in Copenhagen with the hopes of producing a new treaty on climate change to succeed the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012. Kyoto called on 37 countries to cut carbon emissions by a total of five per cent from 1990 levels by 2012.

The United States rejected Kyoto because it failed to make demands on developing countries such as China.

Canada signed on to the original Kyoto agreement, but the Conservative government has begun to distance itself from Kyoto's targets and toward its own goals.

Earlier this month, Environment Minister Jim Prentice said the  government's greenhouse gas target is a 20 per cent reduction from 2006 emissions by 2020 and a 60 to 70 per cent cut by 2050.

Canada plans to announce the remaining elements of its climate change plan, including reduction standards for each industry, by December, in time for the Copenhagen summit.

With files from The Associated Press