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Gordon Brown mentions waste to energy in climate change speech

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has delivered a speech on the Governments case for an ambitious international agreement on climate change and has mentioned the role waste to energy has to play.

He hopes that developed and developing countries will move towards a lower carbon, climate-resilient development path. He also said that countries must reach a binding global agreement on carbon emission cuts at the United Nations summit in Copenhagen in December.

Speaking in London, at London Zoo (26 June), Brown said developing countries and developed countries would have to cut their carbon emissions substantially.

Brown said that countries could use decarbonised technologies providing the basis for a revolution in cheap, large-scale energy like village-scale bio-gas plants using locally-generated waste to produce local energy.

He explained that the UK was spending £800 million on low carbon development and that the private sector had a crucial role to play for financing capacity building. He said that the global market in low carbon goods and services was worth £3 trillion and would generate around 400,000 jobs in the UK.

He added: By incentivising investment in energy efficiency, in low carbon energy production and in the reduction of industrial and transport emissions, the carbon market can facilitate the scaling up of financial flows for mitigation and technology transfer to developing countries.

Brown explained that he wanted to set up a £60 billion annual fund to help developing countries deal with climate change. He said leading industrialised economies must support developing nations most at risk from climate change to enable them to keep on growing while meeting their environmental obligations.

Brown concluded: Copenhagen is 23 weeks away. When historians look back on this critical moment, let them say, not that we were the generation that failed our children, but that we had the courage, and the will, to succeed.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change released a report called The Road to Copenhagen  
at the same time as the speech. The report said that the Government will shortly publish a White Paper on energy and climate change to outline a low-carbon future that is fair, prosperous and energy-secure. It will show how the UK can meet its climate change targets.

The report mentions waste once. It states that lower emissions have been made through reducing waste to landfill and an increase in landfill gas collected and burned for energy. Methane emissions and nitrous oxide emissions have fallen by 53 per cent and 47 per cent respectively since 1990.

Environmental charity
Green Alliance director Stephen Hale said: Gordon Brown has focused on the issue that matters - no money, no deal. His pledge today was to make climate change a top priority for the 23 weeks until the Copenhagen summit. He'll be judged on whether he keeps it.

The worlds leaders have until now been locked in an apparently suicidal pact. They all know the cost of tackling climate change, and the moral and economic case for spending now. But theyve refused to discuss how to share the bill. Todays speech by Gordon Brown is a serious attempt to break the deadlock. His proposals could be the first big step towards a global agreement.

But Liberal Democrat Shadow Energy and Climate Change Secretary Simon Hughes criticised Brown and said: If we [Britain] intend to preach to others, we cannot do so while building dirty coal power stations and new runways.

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