Sunday, November 29, 2015

Commonwealth wants legally-binding & durable deal at COP21

Commonwealth wants legally-binding & durable deal at COP21
The Commonwealth has vowed to work towards an ambitious, durable and legally-binding deal at the Paris Climate Summit and sought adequate financial assistance to poor countries to help them cut green house gas emissions, a view strongly supported by India.
After lengthy deliberations at its biennial summit here, the 53-nation bloc which represents around a third of the world's population, also agreed to make concerted efforts in fighting extremism and radicalisation and formed a separate unit to deal with the challenge. The unit will help finance programmes to counter radicalisation.
On climate change, the Commonwealth leaders called for urgent global response in checking global warming and said they were "deeply concerned" about the disproportionate threat to its most vulnerable countries. "We are committed to working towards an ambitious, equitable, inclusive, balanced, rules-based and durable outcome of COP21 that includes a legally-binding agreement," the Commonwealth said in a statement on Climate Action. It said such an outcome, joined and implemented by all parties, should put the global community on track towards low-emission and climate-resilient societies and economies.
The grouping, where India is the biggest member in terms of population, agreed to work towards a legally-binding outcome at the Paris climate conference and said the climate change challenge could only be met by a deep cut in global green-house gas emission. It also agreed to abide by the target to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. An unnamed country expressed reservations about this as well.
The statement said Commonwealth countries will work together to achieve an outcome at the Paris summit that will stimulate sustainable economic growth, give a clear signal of the need for deep cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions and support vulnerable states. "We are deeply concerned by the threat posed by climate change, which continues to put at risk the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of our member states and citizens. Many of our most vulnerable states and communities are already facing the adverse impacts of climate change," it said.
The Commonwealth statement said reservations were expressed on certain clauses by one country, indicating that achieving a deal at Paris would not be easy. Commonwealth secretary general Kamalesh Sharma refused to name the country.The session on climate change was attended by UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon and French President Francois Hollande besides leaders of major Commonwealth members including Britain, Canada, Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. India was represented at the summit by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. 

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