Gordon Brown proposes £10 billion fund to fight climate change

Gordon Brown proposed a new global fund today to "kickstart" the Copenhagen climate change process and encourage poorer countries to start cutting greenhouse gas emissions immediately.

Just days ahead of the vital UN-sponsored climate change conference in the Danish capital, Mr Brown proposed a £10 billion rich-world fund - to which Britain would contribute £800 million - to give incentives to developing countries to halt deforestation, develop low-carbon energy sources and prepare for the effects of a warmer climate.

The Copenhagen Launch Fund would cover the years 2010/12 and deliver funds to poorer states on a "payment by results" system, under which those which showed they were taking action to halt climate change would receive more cash.

Mr Brown said he expected the proposal to be welcomed at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which he is attending in Trinidad today.

And he said he expected it to be backed by French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who is attending CHOGM to discuss Europe's response to global warming, and by the United States.

Mr Brown said the Launch Fund would allow the world to break the "deadlock" over a deal at Copenhagen and "get moving on climate change as quickly as possible".

"It would make sure that some of the poorest countries, who are most affected by climate change... can get help so they can mitigate climate change and adopt and make the changes that are necessary," he said in a round of broadcast interviews in Trinidad.

"This is a start that could happen in 2010 and go through to 2012 and set a trajectory to getting all the big results over the next decade.

"I think it is very important that the deadlock is broken. That means that the 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.

"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.

"That starts rolling the changes that are necessary to get the ambitious agreement we want at Copenhagen.

"Our ambitions are very high. Countries are making big announcements about cutting carbon. At the same time, we have to finance it, otherwise there would be no deal.

"This initiative from Britain, which I believe will be supported by other countries, is to get the financing sorted out."