UK proposes $100-billion climate fund

Developed countries must contribute collectively to a US$100-billion annual fund to fight climate change in developing countries by 2020, British prime minister Gordon Brown said on Friday, Reuters reported. In proposing the “working figure”, Brown said: “If we are to achieve an agreement in Copenhagen, I believe we must move the debate from a stand-off over hypothetical figures.”


Global talks to agree a new climate treaty have struggled to determine how rich countries pay for action to address global warming in poorer nations. For the first time, Britain gave its support for a Norwegian proposal — being considered by the European Union — to levy a charge on national emissions rights allocated to rich countries under a post-2012 climate agreement.


Some of the $100-billion fund could be raised from international aviation and shipping, Brown said — from taxing or including these in emissions-trading markets, for example. Funds also might be raised through government-backed bonds to protect forests. Britain’s other targets for December’s climate talks in Denmark include a 2º Celsius limit to global warming.


In Brussels, meanwhile, the European Union said it will give China up to 50 million euros (US$70 million) to build a carbon capture and storage (CCS) plant that will test that technology, the Associated Press reported. The EU’s executive commission says the money will help China develop coal-burning power stations that could capture carbon dioxide and bury it underground. Doing so would allow China to use its most plentiful energy source, coal, without releasing more of the greenhouse gas linked to climate change.


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