Left to right. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Denmark Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma, Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning and Australia Prime Minister Kevin Rudd at the Commonwealth climate change news conference on November 28, 2009. Credit: Kenroy Ambris/Commonwealth Secretariat
28 November 2009
Proposal for a $10 billion annual package for developing countries is welcomed
Recognising that they have been given an “unprecedented opportunity” just before the start of the climate change talks in Copenhagen, Commonwealth leaders have issued a declaration which commits to focusing efforts “on achieving the strongest possible outcome” in the Danish capital.
“The latest scientific evidence indicates that in order to avoid dangerous climate change that is likely to have catastrophic impacts we must find solutions using all available means,” the Port of Spain Climate Change Consensus stated. “We must act now.”
After two days of intense talks at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), being held in Trinidad and Tobago, leaders emerged with a strong declaration as they approach the Copenhagen talks “with ambition, optimism and determination.”
Click here to read the Commonwealth Climate Change Declaration
For the first time ever, the UN Secretary-General attended the CHOGM, as well as two non-Commonwealth leaders – President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Lars Løkke Rasmussen, the Prime Minister of Denmark.
Commonwealth leaders said that “an internationally legally binding agreement is essential” and pledged their “continued support to the leader-driven process guided by the Danish Prime Minister and his efforts to deliver a comprehensive, substantial and operationally binding agreement in Copenhagen.”
Heads also welcomed the initiative to establish a Copenhagen Launch Fund for developing countries, which would start in 2010 and build to $10 billion a year by 2012.
“We also welcomed a proposal to provide immediate, fast disbursing assistance with a dedicated stream for small island states, and associated low-lying coastal states of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) of at least 10 per cent of the fund.” They also called for specified and comparable funding streams for the poorest and most vulnerable countries.