Brown sets out vision for global low-carbon economy

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Prime Minister Gordon Brown today stated his determination to make Britain a world leader in the new "technological revolution" required to beat global warming.

While climate change presents an immense challenge to the world, it is also a huge opportunity which could lead to the creation of thousands of new businesses, hundreds of thousands of jobs and a vast new export market for the UK within the next two decades, said the Prime Minister.

Speaking ahead of December's international climate change summit in Bali, Mr Brown published a statement setting out Britain's vision of a new global low-carbon economy to hold the rise in average temperatures to two degrees Celsius or less.

He made clear that he is ready to consider increasing the Government's target of a 60% cut in Britain's carbon emissions by 2050 to 80%, if recommended by the new independent committee on climate change.

And he said that any agreement stemming from the Bali talks must have the goal of ensuring global greenhouse gas emissions peak within 10-15 years and are then reduced by at least half by 2050.

A new framework for the years after the Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012 should include a global carbon market with binding emissions caps for all developed countries, said Mr Brown in a speech to the conservation charity WWF in central London.

Mr Brown today published an expert commission's report which estimates that environmental industries are already worth more than £25 billion to Britain and employ some 400,000 people. Within two decades, he predicted more than one million people could be employed in the industry in the UK.

He said: "It shows that if tackling climate change represents the greatest of challenges for the world, it is also the greatest of opportunities for Britain.

"And just as in each of the three previous technological revolutions Britain played a leading role, we now have the opportunity to play a leading role in taking the world towards a low carbon future.

"It is an opportunity I want this country to seize - a greener Britain where a new green economy provides greater prosperity and high quality jobs even as it protects the environment and provides a better quality of life for all."