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CHOGM hijacked by climate change


Port Of Spain, November 28, 2009 (ANI)
That the issue of climate change has hijacked the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meet (CHOGM) with every other global issue being put on the back burner. It began with the sudden and mysterious arrival of French President Sarkozy here and then on from the inaugural ceremony onwards every speech, meeting, discussion has focused on the upcoming climate change meeting in Copenhagen. Indian government officials have gone into a huddle to work on the issue with the muddying of waters that has taken place in the past 48 hours. According to reports coming out of China, the IBSA (India, Brazil, South Africa) and China have agreed to a strategy that involves jointly walking out of the Copenhagen conference if the developed nations try to force their own terms on the developing world. The new term coined by this grouping is BASIC, to include China. The BASIC draft said the Kyoto Protocol should continue to have effect and rich countries should assume the responsibilities to cut emission in accordance with the target of the second commitment period from 2013. "The outcome of the summit should include long-term cooperative actions on climate change, mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions, adaptation to the impacts of climate change, as well as provision of financial and technological support," the representatives said in a statement.
Basic countries see Denmark as the villain of the piece. Yesterday Prime Minister of Denmark Lars Lokke Rasmussen all but issued a threat to Commonwealth leaders to just arrive in Copenhagen next month and sign on the dotted line. A draft prepared by Denmark, which has the OK of rich countries that includes the United States, several European nations will be presented at the conference. And throwing the gauntlet at the same time will be the BASIC nations whose draft plan is an odd and unexpected development for the richer nations. The battle lines appear already drawn. Here at the CHOGM, the mood is tense, bordering on the defiance. Meanwhile in a very smart move French President Nicholas Sarkozy, who met the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here yesterday, urged the Indian Prime Minister to participate in the Climate Change Summit next month in Copenhagen.” We want India's voice to be heard at this international meeting," Sarkozy said yesterday here at the CHOGM. What he probably didn't expect or doesn't want, either way, is China and India to join hands against the Denmark grouping.

Mohamed Nasheed President of Maldives said today that Commonwealth leaders will lobby for an international climate deal that includes $10 billion for next year to help poor and vulnerable states fight the effects of global warming. Nearly half of the Commonwealth's members are small island states like Maldives which are directly threatened by rising sea levels caused by global warming, and developing nations which are appealing for financial aid from rich governments to help them counter climate change and reduce carbon pollution. This plan had the backing of British premier Gordon Brown and French President Nicholas Sarkozy.

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