February 18, 2009 / 5:49 PM / 9 years ago

G20 should send clear signal on climate change: Denmark

<p>Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen addresses a news conference before a dinner with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the Chancellery in Berlin February 18, 2009. REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch</p>

LONDON (Reuters) - A G20 economic summit in April can help pave the way to a climate change deal by sending a signal that the financial crisis and global warming can be tackled simultaneously, Denmark’s prime minister said on Wednesday.

Anders Fogh Rasmussen is discussing preparations for year-end talks on a new climate treaty in Copenhagen during meetings this week in London, Berlin and Brussels.

He urged leading advanced and emerging countries to keep the environment in mind when they meet in London on April 2 for the G20 summit, whose main goal is to seek solutions to the global economic downturn.

“It might facilitate the process toward Copenhagen in December if ‘green’ aspects could be an element at the G20 meeting,” Rasmussen told reporters after talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

“I think it would be beneficial if the G20 could send a clear signal that there is no contradiction between addressing the financial crisis and addressing climate change,” he said.

A United Nations’ report presented at a conference in Nairobi on Monday called on G20 leaders to develop ideas toward securing a global climate change agreement in Copenhagen.

But Rasmussen said the G20 was not the place to try to reach an outline agreement on climate change.

“I think it would be too complicated to discuss climate change at length at the G20 meeting. Also the G20 is not the right circle. It does not comprise all key players concerning the climate change agenda,” he said.

The G20 comprises Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States and the European Union.

More than 190 nations have agreed to negotiate a new global deal by the end of 2009 to succeed the U.N.’s Kyoto Protocol, which sets carbon dioxide limits for 37 industrialized nations.

Rasmussen expressed concern that economic stimulus packages that had been presented so far to counter recession were not very pro-environment.

“I would encourage countries to make sure that future stimulus packages have a strong ‘green’ element,” he said.

He said he discussed the economic crisis with Brown and the British prime minister had told him about his ideas for improving international regulation of financial markets.

They did not discuss any new stimulus package, he said, noting that stimulus packages already introduced around the world had not yet taken full effect.

Denmark unveiled a 100 billion crown ($17.79 billion) bank aid package in January, offering to inject public credit into banks to jump-start their corporate and private lending and stimulate a slumping economy.

Editing by Ian Jones

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