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Gordon Brown: Go for a 30 percent cut

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Gordon Brown has called for deeper cuts in European Union carbon emissions as negotiators started hammering out a new agreement on climate change in Copenhagen.

With just a handful of days of talks before world leaders arrive in a bid to seal a global deal, the Prime Minister said he wanted to see the EU slash greenhouse gas output by 30% by 2020 - 10% more than the nation group is currently proposing.

He told The Guardian: "We've got to make countries recognise that they have to be as ambitious as they say they want to be.

"It's not enough to say, 'I may do this, I might do that, possibly I'll do this'. I want to create a situation in which the European Union is persuaded to go to 30%."

More than 100 heads of state and government, including Mr Brown, are attending the closing stages of the two weeks of talks which aim to secure a global deal on cutting emissions and providing finance to support poor countries in the fight against climate change.

Negotiators have six days of talks before government ministers arrive for the high-level segment of the conference, with another two days before the world leaders arrive in the hope of endorsing a deal which will deliver immediate and long-term action to limit rising temperatures.

The conference's president Connie Hedegaard said the world had reached the deadline for achieving a new deal.

"Now is the time to capture the moment and conclude a truly ambitious global deal. This is our chance. If we miss this opportunity, we will not get a better one," she warned.

The United Nations' chief climate official Yvo de Boer said there was unprecedented political momentum for a deal, but warned the conference would only be a success if it "delivers significant and immediate action that begins the day the conference ends".

The leaders will join more than 15,000 negotiators, environmental campaigners and journalists descending on the Danish capital in the bid to secure a new deal to stop temperatures rising more than 2C above pre-industrial levels.

Source: The Guardian

Copyright, United Nations, UNRIC, 2009. All rights reserved.