The clock is ticking. The UNFCCC’s Copenhagen summit is just 7 days away, and recent reports have been encouraging. Shortly after China and the US made announcements on commitments to reduce their GHGS, Commonwealth leaders backed a $10bn Climate Change fund. Proposed by UK PM Gordon Brown, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the fund seeks to provide immediate financial support to those States most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

UK PM Gordon Brown said on Friday that half of the fund should be aimed at helping the most vulnerable states to adapt to climate change, whilst the other half should be targeted at measures to reduce GHGs in the least developed countries.

The first funding would be made available early next year, before any international agreement could take effect, whilst there are suggestions that funds for the most vulnerable small island states would be fast-tracked and made available immediately.

This agreement by the Commonwealth demonstrates how climate change can unite different countries – small/large, rich or poor to find a resolution; and delivers some promise for next week’s summit.

The Commonwealth leaders also agreed to seek a legally binding international agreement, though it is widely believed that “a full legally binding outcome” might have to wait to 2010.

The Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, added that any commitments they would announce would be “ambitious”, though it is highly likely that will be subject to significant commitments by other influential nations too.  This prisoner’s dilemma characterises the negotiations, and also represents the biggest threat to a global deal.  However, the recent flurry of announcements for GHG reduction commitments from many of the key players has sparked hope that all is not lost yet.

The countdown begins. I will attend the final week of negotiations with a focus on proposals from the developed nations.

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