Climate change has dominated the biennial meeting of the Commonwealth. The 53-member group wrapped up its summit in Trinidad with a pledge to push for an operationally binding deal at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen next month.
It was all part of a diplomatic offensive seeking consensus on how to fight global warming before the crunch get-together in the Danish capital. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told fellow Commonwealth leaders: “We as the Commonwealth, representing one third of the world’s population, believe the time for action on climate change has come. The clock is ticking to Copenhagen.” The summit invited outsiders to lend their weight to the discussions – they even tackled the thorny issue of funding for poorer nations. Denmark’s Prime Minister, Lars Lokke Rasmussen said: “The proposal for the Copenhagen launch fund is very concrete and delivers on the very important issue of fast-start funding. Movement on finance is indeed key to catalysing negotiations towards the Copenhagen agreement.” The fund, starting next year and building to around seven billion euros annually by 2012, will reassure developing nations who will need help adapting to any pollution reducing requirements.