Baltic and European news
53 nations back $10bn "fast start" climate fund
The Commonwealth's 53 member states have backed a UK proposal to provide $10bn (E6.7bn) annually between 2010 and 2012 to help the world's poorest nations tackle climate change. A joint declaration was issued following a meeting in Trinidad last weekend.
The countries represent more than one quarter of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting in Copenhagen this month to agree a successor to the Kyoto treaty. The UK said it would contribute E882m to the "Copenhagen Launch Fund".
The 53 nations, which include countries such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, said at least 10% of the "fast start" funding should go to small island states. France also backed the fund. French president Nicolas Sarkozy said 20% of the funds should be allocated to forest protection.
Mr Sarkozy met Commonwealth leaders in Trinidad to present a France-Brazil common position on climate change, focusing among other things on climate funding and deforestation. France's partnership with Brazil is one of several recent attempts to broker a deal in Copenhagen.
The emission reduction targets announced last week by the US and China have raised hopes of a deal in December. But many world leaders including US president Obama have already conceded Copenhagen will not lead to a fully binding treaty, calling instead for a "politically binding" agreement.
Expectations for the meeting have been significantly lowered. Hopes are now for a legally binding treaty to be agreed shortly after Copenhagen. The Commonwealth declaration called for a "full legally binding outcome no later than 2010". MEPs want a "formal process" to turn pledges into binding commitments next year.
On Saturday China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Sudan agreed a draft declaration presenting joint demands for an agreement on climate. The move is intended to counter a joint text to be released by industrialised countries this week, according to a news report.
Follow-up: Commonwealth declaration http://chogm2009.org/home/node/210
plus press releases from the UN
See also France-Brazil position http://www.elysee.fr/documents/index.php?lang=fr&mode=view&cat_id=8&press_id=3097 on climate. For developing countries' meeting on Saturday see news articles in China Daily
http://www.ccchina.gov.cn/en/NewsInfo.asp?NewsId=20850 and The Hindu
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