Leaders say momentum building on climate change

Nov 29, 2009 By BEN FOX , Associated Press Writer
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki moon, left, and Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen, right, look on during a press conference on climate change at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting (CHOGM) in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, Saturday Nov. 28, 2009. (AP Photo/Martin Cleaver)

(AP) -- Leaders of the Commonwealth countries called Saturday for a legally binding international agreement on climate change and a global fund with billions of dollars to help poor countries meet its mandates.

The 53-nation meeting was the largest gathering of international leaders before next month's global climate summit in Copenhagen.

The leaders said a deal should be adopted no later than next year and the support money should be available simultaneously, providing up to $10 billion a year starting in 2012.

At least 10 percent of the fund should be dedicated to small island and low-lying coastal nations that are at risk of catastrophic changes from global warming, the group said.

" is the predominant global challenge," the Commonwealth leaders said in a joint declaration. "For some of us, it is an existential threat."

The document called for a "legally binding" agreement by the world's nations.

Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, making rare appearances at a Commonwealth meeting to help drive the climate discussion, portrayed the joint declaration as further evidence of growing momentum for next month's summit.

"I will leave Trinidad fully convinced that it will be possible to reach an ambitious agreement in Copenhagen," Loekke Rasmussen told reporters after the Commonwealth leaders issued their statement following a private meeting.

Some 90 countries have now agreed to attend the summit in Denmark.

The Commonwealth countries, which represent about a third of the world's population, said in the statement that the members all agreed on the need for an ambitious program to reduce the risks of climate change.

But they added that they have a "range of views" on whether the average increase should be constrained to below 1.5 degrees Celsius or to no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Their endorsement of a global fund came a day after British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, both attending the meeting in the twin-island Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago, also backed the idea.

Brown said Britain would contribute $1.3 billion over three years, but other countries have not yet specified their commitments.

The biennial meeting of the Commonwealth, made up mostly of former British colonies, attracted an unusual level of attention this year because of climate change. It brought together some of the key countries in the global debate, including India, Canada and Australia, amid debate over cutting carbon emissions and the economic effects of those cuts.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday that his country is willing to sign an ambitious global target. But he set no specific figures and insisted it be accompanied by "equitable burden sharing."

Other leaders were still working on emissions goals.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper suggested his government's plan would be similar to the American pledge. The White House said this week the U.S. would reduce emissions by 17 percent from 2005 levels by 2020 and achieve a 41 percent reduction over the following 10 years.

"Those targets are completely in line with the government of Canada's policy," Harper said. "So I look forward to having a comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen where we will actually get on with actually reducing emissions as opposed to just setting abstract targets."

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told reporters progress was being made. "You see as each day passes a large number of states come forward with their own national commitments," he said.

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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User comments : 12

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deatopmg
4.1 / 5 (13) Nov 29, 2009
All built, as we have recently seen, on a house of cards.
Doug_Huffman
4.3 / 5 (11) Nov 29, 2009
It appears that the crummy resource Associated Press - abbreviated crAP - and its client continue to ignore Climategate, regarded by some as the greatest scientific scandal since the flat-Earth FAILURE!
freethinking
4.4 / 5 (7) Nov 29, 2009
Ok everyone, If things were reversed, for example an oil company data that supported climate change, emails that showed that they were trying to prevent pro-AGW studies being published, etc, etc, were leaked, we all know that ABC, NBC, CNN, the democratic party, the president, and Physorg would keep this all low key right?

antigoracle
4.6 / 5 (11) Nov 29, 2009
The government of Trinidad wasted over 500 MILLION TT to host this "party" when there are thousands in that country without the basics - water, electricity, health care.
Auxon
4.5 / 5 (8) Nov 30, 2009
"Climate change is the predominant global challenge," the Commonwealth leaders said in a joint declaration. "For some of us, it is an existential threat."

God help us all, they are just going to pretend Climategate never happened and just steam roll over everyone and keep on accumulating power with lies.

"But they added that they have a "range of views" on whether the average global temperature increase should be constrained to below 1.5 degrees Celsius or to no more than 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels."

Instead of talking about Climategate they are arguing over what temperature to set the bloody thermostat! As if we have one to set!
omatumr
4 / 5 (8) Nov 30, 2009
They will not succeed!

Thanks to all of you for speaking the truth about this unholy alliance of dishonest politicians with dishonest scientists.

Keep up the good work. Spread the word!

With kind regards,
Oliver K. Manuel
Former NASA PI for Apollo
jcrow
1.4 / 5 (10) Nov 30, 2009
Man I can't believe how a few trolls on fox news can trump a huge amount of data and science. This is a country brainwashed to believe the rich should be able to do anything they want. I will no longer tolerate inaction. You had your worthless president for 8 years, now we have somebody that shows up for work. We can now finally make some positive progress.
Noumenon
3.7 / 5 (6) Nov 30, 2009
@jcrow

Is Fox News responsible for all critical analysis in science? Fox News are not the ones who dumped a huge amount of data.

-What Data are you speaking of jcrow? It was dumped, trashed. The raw data should have been made available for skeptics to analyze to determine if they are lead to the same final model. Critical analysis is profoundly necessary in proper science.

-The science is questionable to say the least, and many climate scientists question it. Do these AGW people have such a handle on nature that they can predict 1.5*f change in one century, and then control it. There is zero proof of this. What should the avg temp be?

-runaway cataclysmic AGW is not proper science, it is pure speculation, and the supporters of it are useful idiots to the left.

-Yes, the rich are able to do whatever they want in a FREE SOCIETY. They are the ones who provide jobs, who pay 90% of all taxes, they are the successful innovators who created the greatest economy
Noumenon
3.9 / 5 (7) Nov 30, 2009
JcRow,

The posters above you read this cite because they are involved in or are interested in science, and know what science should be like. They all have been registered here for well over a year and have a rating higher than yours,... so who's the troll.

Stop pretending there is a consensus among climate scientists, that is a lie. AGW is a highly speculative theory with zero empirical verification and is in the hands of political world government socialists. This is a dangerous movement that is not based on proper science.
omatumr
4 / 5 (8) Nov 30, 2009
This is not about Presidents or political parties.

This is about dishonest scientists accepting public funds from dishonest politicians and distorting experimental observations to get more funds.

The players include the President of NAS, the former Vice President of the United States, the UN's IPCC and their army of "scientists" that shared the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore and his "Convenient Untruth", and the #! solar physicist at NASA who tells the public that Earth's climate is immune to cyclic changes in the Sun.

Former President Dwight Eisenhower warned of this unholy alliance in January of 1961.


Man I can't believe how a few trolls on fox news can trump a huge amount of data and science. This is a country brainwashed to believe the rich should be able to do anything they want. I will no longer tolerate inaction. You had your worthless president for 8 years, now we have somebody that shows up for work. We can now finally make some positive progress.
DozerIAm
4.2 / 5 (5) Dec 01, 2009
On this website, more than on any other I may visit, I would hope to see vigorous support for the scientific method, and heated distain for those scientists who cut corners, game the system, or make a mockery of the search for truth.

What I get instead is the same thing I might see on a CNN - or even a DailyKos - posting.

It saddens me as an engineer, it angers me as a seeker of scientific truth, and just makes me mad as hell as someone who's been skeptical of the AGW religion all along.

These "scientists" who've been outed as destroying data, massaging statistics, etc should be shunned in their scientific communities, ostracized and ignored, and the businesses, schools and governments that paid them to do the research should sue them for damages for not providing the actual information.
Velanarris
4 / 5 (4) Dec 01, 2009
I couldn't have said it better than DozerIAm has. As a person trained in the sciences I'm disgusted by the current state of events. I always usspected it, and Climategate has proven it to me.

I almost wish AGW was real so we could avoid the comming backlash against other unrelated scientific fields by contrarian religious zealots.
peteone1
Dec 01, 2009
This comment has been removed by a moderator.