Britain, France push for 10 billion dollar climate fund
Britain and France on Friday committed to paying developing nations to combat global warming by calling for a USD 10-billion climate fund financed by rich countries.
Port of Spain - Britain and France on Friday committed to paying developing nations to combat global warming by calling for a USD 10-billion climate fund financed by rich countries.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown and President Nicolas Sarkozy, attending a closed-door Commonwealth summit in Trinidad, urged that the fund be adopted at climate talks to be held in Copenhagen 7-18 December.
Brown said Britain would contribute USD 1.3 billion dollars over three years.
Sarkozy, in a speech to Commonwealth leaders, did not say how much France would cough up, but said the fund would provide USD 10 billion a year between 2010 to 2012, and an "ambitious mechanism" for payments would be established beyond that date.
He told reporters he and Brown were jointly proposing the fund "to, in a way, prime the financing pump for the poorest countries, emerging countries which have need," and that 20 percent of the money would go to fighting deforestation.
The two leaders explained the initiative could break a deadlock in which developing countries were balking at signing on to a climate deal because of the economic disadvantages that would entail.
"Poorer countries must have an understanding that the richer countries will help them adapt to climate change and make the necessary adjustments in their economies," Brown said on his official website.
"We have got to provide some money to help that. Britain will do so, the rest of Europe will do so and I believe America will do so as well."
Sarkozy's presence at the summit of Commonwealth countries -- a club that does not include France -- was unprecedented and a sign of the determination to push Copenhagen towards a successful accord.
The leaders of France and Britain held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the summit to develop their proposal, which was expected to be presented in greater detail in Copenhagen.