Britain is to provide at least £1.5bn (€1.65bn) towards a fund to fast track efforts to combat global warming, Gordon Brown said today.
The British Prime Minister said Europe was ready to promise firm action next week at the UN climate change talks in Copenhagen.
Speaking after talks with French president Nicolas Sarkozy at the EU summit in Brussels, he said: “This world deal at Copenhagen must be ambitious, global, comprehensive, legally binding within six months.”
He told reporters: “We have agreed this: it must include a fast-start launch fund for 2010-2012 which is $10bn (€6.77bn) annually.
“Our contribution will be at least £1.5bn over the three years and we also believe that Europe will be able to show today it will pay its share of the $10bn fund.”
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has made clear he wanted to deliver a substantial EU offer of "fast start" funding towards a global kitty to help poorer countries meet the terms of any emissions-reduction deal agreed in Copenhagen.
Officials worked through the night on securing further pledges to help developing countries meet the costs of tackling climate change.
The Brussels summit, which ends today, will resist upping its unilateral CO2 emissions reduction targets unless other countries also increase their offers.
Mr Brown, who will attend the Copenhagen negotiations alongside other world leaders next week, said 20% of the early finance should be targeted at protecting forests and called for the global deal to include a reduction in deforestation of 25% by 2015.
Most of the $25bn (€17bn) cost of doing that should be met by developed nations, he said, promising to meet with “forest countries” in Copenhagen.
Mr Brown was speaking at a joint press conference with Mr Sarkozy, after a summit pow-wow on climate change involving Britain, France, Germany, Spain and the European Commission.