28 November, 2009
CHOGM leaders & Commonwealth
CHOGM leaders to fight for ‘green’ treaty' at Copenhagen meet
By LIM AI LEE
PORT OF SPAIN: Commonwealth countries, including Malaysia, have agreed to fight for a legally binding treaty to be implemented during the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen.
The decision was made at a special session on climate change held after the opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) here, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, were invited as guests to give their views at the session on Friday. The Commonwealth has 53 member countries.
Najib, who also took part in the debate, said Malaysia felt it was timely for member countries to make a firm commitment during CHOGM to ensure the success of the Copenhagen Summit which is less than three weeks away.
He added that it would be difficult to get a commitment from some countries, especially developed ones, to act with just a political agreement.
During the CHOGM session, Sarkozy called for a World Environmental Organisation to be set up as the Kyoto Protocol — where 37 industrialised countries had committed themselves to a reduction of greenhouse gases — did not provide for a supervisory body.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown proposed the setting up of a US$10bil fund over a period of three years to help small developing island states. Globally, these islands have the highest ratio of economic losses from disasters and other climate impacts although they do not contribute to global warming.
The fund is to be used for mitigation against environmental disasters and adaptation of technology to reduce carbon emission.
During the debate, Najib said there should not be too many conditions set for the fund as that would hamper efforts to help affected countries.
He also urged countries not to set aside the declarations of the Kyoto Protocol which contained many fundamental principles that had been agreed upon.
On reports that Sarkozy had hijacked CHOGM to talk on global warming, Najib said this was not the case as climate change was a main issue at CHOGM.
“Many Commonwealth countries are victims of climate change. Some have said that if global warming continues, small island states might disappear. For many of them, this is a matter of life and death.”
Earlier, when opening CHOGM 2009, Head of the Commonwealth Queen Elizabeth said the environmental threat was now a global challenge which would affect security and stability in the years ahead.
She said most of the countries under threat were the most vulnerable and least able to withstand the adverse effects of climate change.
Saturday November 28, 2009
Commonwealth pledges backing for U.N. climate pact
PORT OF SPAIN (Reuters) - Commonwealth nations representing a third of the world's population pledged on Saturday to support negotiation of an "operationally binding" U.N. climate deal in Copenhagen next month, the group's leaders said.
The Commonwealth Climate Change Declaration issued at a summit in Trinidad and Tobago also backed an initiative to establish a Copenhagen Launch Fund, starting in 2010 and building to $10 billion annually by 2012, to help poor and vulnerable states fight the effects of global warming.