The leaders of 53 countries just concluded a climate change summit a mere few days before Copenhagen. Hosted in Trinidad and Tobago, the Commonwealth Summit aimed to make progress on the negotiations that will come to a head in Copenhagen beginning December 7.As far as I can tell, the summit outcome is short on the numbers that matter. One key outcome is a figure for a proposed "Copenhagen Launch Fund," of $10 billion a year, described by President Nasheed of the Maldives as recognizing in part the plight of island nations in coping with climate change.

The Commonwealth countries assembled are comprised of many former British colonies, and the vast majority of these countries are severely threatened by climate change. These are countries like the Gambia, Cameroon (pictured in this photo), Guyana, and Kiribati.The countries represented in Trinidad make up one third of the world’s population. In Copenhagen, people around the world are calling for progress that meets the scale of the climate challenge that faces the entire planet. Many of these same countries are vocal supporters of an agreement in Copenhagen that calls for reaching 350 ppm; many of these leaders have frequently spoken out about climate impacts already felt by the people in their countries. You can count on the fingers of one hand how many Commonwealth countries have not backed such ambitious positions; yet they appeared to hold the day in Trinidad.This is yet another indication that we must stand in solidarity with those people whose lives are at stake, and those countries that, even despite bold leadership and commitments to take serious action, are not being heard.

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