LONDON: The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has supported the Australian Government's proposal to offer a less onerous, compromise emissions package to developing nations such as Brazil and India in an attempt to secure a binding, global agreement on climate change.
But Mr Brown also warned that special financing would be needed to underpin shorter-term incentives for poorer nations, and a British proposal for a $US100 billion ($115 billion) package - provided by the developed world over the next decade - would be at the "centre of discussions".
The Herald asked Mr Brown his views on the Australian proposal at a pre-G20 briefing for foreign media, held at 10 Downing Street.
"I think that any proposals that come from the Australian Government will be taken very seriously, not just in Great Britain but all around the world,'' he said.
Mr Brown stressed that any deal or agreement in Copenhagen would depend first and foremost on reaching acceptable long-term targets to ensure that average temperatures did not rise by more than two degrees.
"Secondly, you have got to have intermediate goals that are agreed, and that is where … you are suggesting … [less onerous] goals [for poorer nations should] be looked at - and will be looked at,'' he said.
"Thirdly, as I have suggested, you have to have a financial deal. For the developing countries to be brought in, you have got to persuade them that while it may be in their short-term interest to use certain fossil fuels, in the longer-term interest we have got to get less carbon products and introduce renewables, and we will have to help that financially."
In New York on Monday, the Minister for Climate Change, Penny Wong, outlined the Australian plan - first flagged in March - to try to persuade developing nations such as India, China and Brazil to commit to reducing emissions.
Under the proposal, they would be allowed to set weaker reduction targets and use less onerous mechanisms to achieve them, including use of renewable energy or felling fewer trees.
Mr Brown, who has flown to New York for the UN meeting, made his comments just hours after the Federal Opposition had warned that it would not support the Government's emission trading proposals without radical amendments.
The Leader of the Opposition, Malcolm Turnbull, is in London and was scheduled to deliver a speech on progressive politics in Australia at the Policy Exchange, a British advisory group.
Mr Brown also signalled that he would push the G20 this week for a global ''compact'' of developed economies that would act as a new framework for global financial decisions. This would map out a co-ordinated economic response to future regulation of financial institutions. It would also act as an early warning system and ensure united exits for stimulus plans.