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Commonwealth leaders for 'substantial' action on emission cut

world Updated: Nov 29, 2009 09:20 IST

Warning that climate change was posing "existential" threat to several small countries, the 53-nation Commonwealth on Sunday said the upcoming Copenhagen meet should come out with an ambitious mitigation outcome as there was a need for an "urgent and substantial" action to reduce global emissions.

The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), attended among others by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, asked
the developed nations to continue to lead on cutting their emissions and emphasised that the developing countries, in
line with their national circumstances, should also take action to achieve a substantial deviation from "business-as-
usual emissions".

Noting that it represents one-third of the world's population, the CHOGM declaration said that "internationally legally binding agreement is essential" and its voice has to be heard at the next month's Copenhagen Summit.

"Science, and our own experience, tells us that we only have a few short years to address this threat. The average
global temperature has risen because of the increase in carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. The latest scientific
evidence indicates that in order to avoid dangerous climate change that is likely to have catastrophic impacts we must
find solutions using all available avenues. We must act now," the Port of Spain Climate Change Consensus stated.

It said that the upcoming meet on climate change provides an "unprecedented opportunity...We approach Copenhagen with ambition, optimism and determination."