I was delighted to see the British Prime Minister's statement this morning calling for the mobilisation of $100 billion per annum to help developing countries fight climate change.
He recognises that tackling climate change requires both deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and an adaptation plan that is equitable, effective and efficient. And he sets out a blueprint for raising and managing the money, one underpinned by the principles of equity, additionality and predictability, as well as by accountable and inclusive governance arrangements.
The significance of this statement should not be under-estimated. The world needs this kind of leadership if the make-or-break summit in Copenhagen this December is to succeed.
Climate justice must be at the heart of a global deal. Gordon Brown recognises that the least developed countries, most of which are in Africa, need and deserve additional resources, over and above existing ODA commitments, to help them adapt to climate change. It also recognises that governments must put in place policies and incentives to increase financial flows through market-based mechanisms, and that they must commit additional funds on the basis of 'the polluter pays'.
Finding solutions that prevent environmental catastrophe, that are equitable for every human being, and that leave the world habitable for future generations requires bold political leadership. It also requires unprecedented solidarity between industrialized countries, emerging economies and the least developed nations. This is why his initiative is so important.
The G8 Summit in Italy is just two weeks away. The richest countries not only bear the greatest responsibility for the problem of climate change but also have the greatest capacity to deliver and fund the solutions. Italy offers them an opportunity to demonstrate real leadership.
"I hope the Prime Minister’s example will inspire other leaders to commit to bold action to agree emission targets, to finance adaptation and to put vulnerable peoples’ needs at the heart of the global response to climate change.”
Kofi Annan served as UN Secretary General from 1997 to 2007. He is President of the Global Humanitarian Forum and Chair of the Africa Progress Panel.