Gordon Brown: I'm Going to Copenhagen, World Leaders Should Too


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UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown will announce in Newsweek tomorrow that he will personally attend the international climate negotiations in Copenhagen in December and that he encourages other world leaders to join him. Brown is in New York for Climate Week, a series of events centered around the UN General Assembly's session on climate change. The UN negotiations in Copenhagen are only for negotiators, but NGOs have been urging world leaders to bring their gravitas to the meetings to make sure that a deal is struck. It's possible that President Obama will make a similar announcement when he addresses the UN on Tuesday.

According to the Guardian UK, Brown will write:

"The negotiations are proceeding so slowly that a deal is in grave danger." He ups the ante by becoming the first head of government to say he will go to Copenhagen to try to agree a framework on climate change for the post-2012 era when the Kyoto protocol expires.

"Securing an agreement in Copenhagen will require world leaders to bridge our remaining differences and seize these opportunities. But I believe it can be done. And if it is necessary to clinch the deal, I will personally go to Copenhagen to achieve it."

The NY Times reported this morning that the negotiations have deadlocked. Contentious issues include the demands of developing countries that developed countries commit to carbon emission cuts of 40% by 2020 based on 1990 levels. The new Japanese government recently pledged to cut emissions by 25% by 2020, but only if other leading economies make serious cuts too.

Developing nations will also be looking for funding for adaptation to climate change and help for mitigation of emissions. Countries with tropical forests like Brazil and Indonesia will be looking for REDD funding to help preserve forests. Deforestation is responsible for 20% of emissions.

More on Gordon Brown:
Gordon Brown Pitches $100 Billion Climate Finance Plan
Gordon Brown Lays Out His Green Agenda

Tags: United Kingdom | United Nations

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