Gordon Brown yesterday bid to lead the world in tackling global warming by launching a groundbreaking initiative to set up a 100bn dollar-a-year fund, rescuing deadlocked international negotiations on a new climate treaty.
In a landmark speech in London the Prime Minister publically broke with the position of other developed countries by proposing that they provide “around 100 billion dollars” (£60bn) a year to help developing nations combat climate change and adapt to its effects.
It would be used to help fund their measures both to reduce their emissions of the pollution that causes global warming and to defend themselves against the consequences of increasing temperatures and rising seas.
Such financial aid is one of the key Third World demands in the negotiations, but until now no rich country has been prepared to make a concrete response. It has been one of the main reasons why talks convened by the United Nations – which two weeks ago concluded their second abortive session so far this year in Bonn, Germany – have so far failed to make progress.