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Commonwealth nations agree on climate targets

Reporter: Jack Barton 丨 CCTV.com

11-30-2015 10:20 BJT

Full coverage: Xi Attends Paris Climate Talks, Visits Zimbabwe, S. Africa

The issue of global warming has also topped a summit of Commonwealth countries in Malta. Leaders of the 53 nations called for a legally binding climate deal from the conference in Paris as they wrapped up their summit Sunday.

The Commonwealth bloc of former British colonies accounts for about a third of the world's population.

So its agreement to seek legally binding targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions has raised optimism that a global deal might emerge from the United Nations climate summit in Paris.

"I believe that the fact that we have achieved convergence and near unanimity on a very focused statement on the climate change puts the possibility of a success at COP 21 in better shape," said Joseph Muscat, prime minister of Malta.

The commonwealth includes big economies like Canada, Australia, and India as well as small nations including Island states, some at risk of vanishing beneath rising oceans.

"Climate change actually unites us, puts us all in the same canoe so to speak that if the big wave comes that canoe is going to be washed away, and everyone it," said Baron Waqa, president of Pacific State of Nauru.

"If we don't reach a sensible agreement in Paris we can all prepare for a disaster," said Freundel Stuart, prime minister of Barbados.

Commonwealth countries agreed to a seek carbon emission targets in Paris that would ensure the global average temperature does not rise more than one point five degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

On top of the targets agreement the Commonwealth unveiled a one billion dollar Green Finance Facility to support environmental projects for developing countries within the bloc.

Another initiative will allow poorer countries to write off some of their debts in return for launching projects that protect the environment.

Leaders of the commonwealth nations also called for developed countries to spend 100 billion dollars a year over the next five years to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change. 

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