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Britain Pledges Huge Carbon Emission Cuts by 2050


British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is urging all nations to rise to the challenges of combatting global warming, which he compared to the challenge of recovery after World War II. For VOA, Tom Rivers in London reports, Mr. Brown wants his country to set an example and cut carbon emissions by at least 60 percent by the year 2050.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown says there will be hard choices and tough decisions ahead, and the world must rise to the challenge of combatting the effects of global warming.

"The climate change crisis is the product of many generations," he said. "But overcoming it must be the great project of this generation. And, this project will have to involve not just America and Europe as in 1945, but the entire community of nations. So, once again, leaders will have to show vision and determination, because, just as in 1945, we will have to understand that it is only by rising to the challenges of change that we can at all times guarantee our prosperity and security now and into the future."

Mr. Brown said Britain is in a position to lead, and he proposed a climate action plan to sharply reduce Britain's so-called carbon footprint, the amount of greenhouse gases produced.

Last week, the British government announced it would aim for a 60 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. On Monday, the prime minister said that could even be increased to an 80 percent cut, if further study shows that might be attainable.

The British leader says, while the richest countries have caused climate change, it is the poorest which are already suffering its effects.

Mr. Brown says Britain can become a world leader in constructing what he called a low-carbon economy. In addition to benefiting the global climate, he said, such an approach could translate into hundreds-of-thousands of new British jobs and a vast export sector in the decades to come.

Brown's ambitious plan sets out Britain's position just two weeks before global environment ministers meet in Bali to work on a successor agreement to the Kyoto protocol on global warming, which expires in five years.

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