UK Prime Minister calls for international aviation to contribute towards a $100 billion global climate fund
Prime Minister Gordon Brown (right): "It is important that aviation and maritime emissions are brought into the Copenhagen agreement"
Mon 6 July 2009 – British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for international aviation and maritime emissions to be included in the Copenhagen climate change talks in December. He has also proposed that a $100 billion fund for climate mitigation and adaptation in developing countries be created by 2020 to which the two industries should financially contribute. Brown was speaking at the launch of a government manifesto, The Road to Copenhagen, which spells out the aims and ambitions the UK has for a global climate change agreement.
Brown said the British government would be willing to support an international mechanism for the setting aside and auctioning of a small percentage of national emissions allowances, which has been proposed by Norway. “Where countries do not feel able to participate in such a scheme, we would want to see comparable domestic legislation to provide predictable and adequate finance,” he said.
“And I believe we should also explore other potential means of raising finance internationally. For example, it is important that aviation and maritime emissions are brought into the Copenhagen agreement, and the mechanisms for reducing emissions in these sectors could also potentially yield revenues for climate financing.”
The manifesto says that although public finance will have an important role to play, the UK expects the private sector to be the main source of the $100bn finance, with a reformed carbon market providing a significant portion of incremental finance by 2020. “The UK would like to see all countries, except the least developed, contribute to this financing,” it says. “Contributions should be determined based on a country’s ability to pay and emissions. Developing countries would receive more money than they contribute.”
The UK is calling on developed countries to set binding targets to reduce their emissions by at least 80% by 2050 compared to 1990 levels, including stretching mid-term targets on a pathway to getting there. It quotes IPCC analysis to suggest developed countries should collectively reduce their emissions by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020. It says developing countries will also need to take action and they should be looking to reduce their collective emissions by 15-30% by 2020.
The manifesto notes that emissions from international aviation and maritime sectors were not included in countries’ targets under the Kyoto Protocol, “despite the fact that combined they currently account for some 6% of global emissions, and could triple by 2050 unless action is taken.”
It acknowledges that constraints on the two sectors could have a negative impact on the economies of developing countries and that developed countries are reluctant to proceed without engagement from those in the developing world, so creating the risk of carbon leakage. However, it says, the UK and EU “firmly believe” that an international agreement is needed to manage aviation and shipping emissions collectively.
“We are therefore calling for the agreement at Copenhagen to include global sectoral targets for aviation and maritime emissions that can be delivered cost-effectively and are consistent with limiting climate change to below 2°C. All countries will need to redouble their efforts through the International Civil Aviation Organization and International Maritime Organization, and agree and implement specific measures to meet these targets within an agreed timeframe.”
The UK has launched an official website, Act on Copenhagen, to present information on the negotiations leading up to the UN talks in Copenhagen.