Commonwealth advances momentum
For climate deal:
* Group seeks “operationally binding” pact in
* Wants “full legally binding” accord no later
*Developing states say far more adaptation
TRINIDAD: Commonwealth nations representing one-third of the world’s
population threw their weight on Saturday behind accelerating efforts to
clinch an “operationally binding” UN climate deal in Copenhagen next
Leaders of the 53-nation Commonwealth meeting in Trinidad and Tobago
used their summit to bolster a diplomatic offensive seeking wide
consensus on how to fight global warming before Dec. 7-18 UN climate
talks in the Danish capital.
“The clock is ticking to Copenhagen ... we believe that the political
goodwill and resolve exists to secure a comprehensive agreement at
Copenhagen,” Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told a news conference
in Port of Spain.
The Commonwealth Climate Change Declaration pledged the group’s
backing for Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen in his efforts to
secure wide attendance and commitment from world leaders at the
Copenhagen climate talks.
“We pledge our continued support to the leaders-driven process ... to
deliver a comprehensive, substantial and operationally binding agreement
in Copenhagen leading towards a full legally binding outcome no later
than 2010,” the Port of Spain declaration said. Tackling the thorny
issue of funding for poor nations’ efforts to fight climate change and
global warming, developed countries in the Commonwealth led by Britain
backed an initiative to establish a Copenhagen Launch Fund, starting in
2010 and building to $10 billion annually by 2012.
Reflecting debate that has dogged the road to Copenhagen, developing
states said much more money needed to be committed by rich nations to
help poorer countries.
“Right now, there is no commitment of the magnitude that is required.
... We need close to 1 percent of global GDP, $300 billion, to address
this problem,” Guyana’s president, Bharrat Jagdeo.