Updated: November 26, 2009 21:47 IST

Brown seeks Manmohan’s support to seal climate deal

Hasan Suroor
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Gordon Brown.
The Hindu Gordon Brown.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will seek Manmohan Singh’s support in helping to break the deadlock over climate change negotiations ahead of next month’s crucial Copenhagen meeting.

Speaking to a group of London-based Commonwealth journalists, Mr. Brown said he looked forward to meeting Mr. Singh, whom he described as a “great friend” and the architect of India’s economic reforms, at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) at Trinidad and Tobago at the weekend.

He said, coming as it did barely weeks from the Copenhagen conference, CHOGM would offer a unique opportunity to leaders from some of the world’s richest and poorest countries to discuss the core issues which were holding up a global agreement.

He admitted that funding climate change remained one of the main obstacles as developed countries continued to dither over the amount of money they were willing to offer to developing countries to help them adopt environmental-friendly schemes.

But, he claimed, progress was being made and if a breakthrough was achieved at CHOGM a global agreement on carbon emission cuts could still be reached at Copenhagen.

The fact that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen were also attending CHOGM — normally an event restricted to Commonwealth leaders — showed the importance that the world attached to the issue.

Mr. Brown declined to comment on U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to attend the Copenhagen meeting but said it was important that as many world leaders as possible turned up at Copenhagen.

In response to a question from a Pakistani journalist whether the Commonwealth would do anything to help resolve the “60-year-old Kashmir dispute”, Mr. Brown said it was important for India and Pakistan to remain engaged in a dialogue and work in close cooperation.

In this context, he referred to the Mumbai terror attacks masterminded by terror groups operating in Pakistan and called for a concerted fight against global terrorism.

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