Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and climate change

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The Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) is an annual gathering of the leaders of the 53 Commonwealth countries.

Port of Spain statement, 2009

At the Port of Spain in Trindad and Tobago in November 2009, CHOGM convened a special meeting on climate change. The statement from the meeting stated that the group was approaching the COP15 meeting in Copenhagen "with ambition, optimism and determination."[1]

It stated that "we pledge our continued support to the leaders-driven process guided by the Danish Prime Minister and his efforts to deliver a comprehensive, substantial and operationally binding agreement in Copenhagen leading towards a full legally binding outcome no later than 2010. In Copenhagen we commit to focus our efforts on achieving the strongest possible outcome."[1]

While the statement included no specific statements on targets for greenhouse gas emissions, that statement emphasised the need for "urgent and substantial action to reduce global emissions is needed and have a range of views as to whether average global temperature increase should be constrained to below 1.5 degrees or to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. We also recognise the need for an early peaking year for global emissions."[1]

On the question of adaptation and the provision of funding, the meeting stated that "fast start funding, constituting grant funding, should provide substantial support for adaptation, REDD plus and clean technology. We welcomed the initiative to establish, as part of a comprehensive agreement, a Copenhagen Launch Fund starting in 2010 and building to a level of resources of $10 billion annually by 2012. Fast start funding for adaptation should be focused on the most vulnerable countries. We also welcomed a proposal to provide immediate, fast disbursing assistance with a dedicated stream for small island states, and associated low-lying coastal states of AOSIS of at least 10% of the fund."[1]

Articles and resources

Articles and resources


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 CHOGM, "Port of Spain Climate Change Consensus: The Commonwealth Climate Change Declaration", Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting November 28, 2009.

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