Press Releases

HISTORIC PRESS RELEASE : UK pledges climate aid for developing countries [December 2009]

The press release issued by Downing Street on 11 December 2009.

Britain will provide £1.5 billion towards a three-year fund to help the poorest countries adapt to the effects of climate change, the Prime Minister has announced.

The money will form part of a £6.5 billion “fast start” fund agreed by EU leaders at a European Council meeting in Brussels today.

In a press conference following the summit, Gordon Brown also confirmed that the EU will offer to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent by 2020 if other countries are willing to commit to ambitious reductions at the Copenhagen climate conference.

The PM said:

“Britain’s contribution is one that we are proud we are making, and that is $800 million or £500 million a year. That makes it possible for the poorest countries to come to the table knowing that they can mitigate carbon emissions and adapt to climate change.”

The PM said he and other EU leaders would do “everything in our power” to secure an ambitious deal at the UN summit in Copenhagen, which concludes next week.

He said:

“I believe there is goodwill now, that there is a determination that things move forward. Obviously we are hoping that other countries respond to the generous offers that Europe has made but we look forward to a successful outcome.”

Earlier, the Prime Minister released a joint statement with French President Nicolas Sarkozy committing the UK and France to work together for an ambitious deal in Copenhagen which would keep global warming to within two degrees.