Gordon Brown calls for new group to police global environment issues

Ben Webster, Francis Elliott
Times [UK]
21 December 2009

A new global body dedicated to environmental stewardship is needed to prevent a repeat of the deadlock which undermined the Copenhagen climate change summit, Gordon Brown will say tomorrow.

The UN’s consensual method of negotiation, which requires all 192 countries to reach agreement, needs to be reformed to ensure that the will of the majority prevails, he feels.

The Prime Minister will say: “Never again should we face the deadlock that threatened to pull down those talks. Never again should we let a global deal to move towards a greener future be held to ransom by only a handful of countries. One of the frustrations for me was the lack of a global body with the sole responsibility for environmental stewardship.

“I believe that in 2010 we will need to look at reforming our international institutions to meet the common challenges we face as a global community.” The summit failed to produce a political agreement among all the countries. Delegates instead passed a motion on Saturday “taking note” of an accord drawn up the night before by five countries: the US, China, India, Brazil and South Africa.

Despite being the first world leader to join the summit, Mr Brown was excluded from the key meeting where the compromise was decided.

Ed Miliband, the Climate Change Secretary, admitted today that the results of the Copenhagen conference were “disappointing” because of the absence of agreement on emissions targets or a deadline for turning the accord into a legally binding treaty.

Mr Miliband pointed the finger of blame at China for resisting a legal agreement and its rejection of a proposal for 50 per cent cut in global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

Efforts to give legal force to the commitments in the Copenhagen accord came up against “impossible resistance from a small number of developing countries, including China, who didn’t want a legal agreement”, he said.

The article continues at the Times.

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