Monthly Archives: November 2009

Building Blocks Towards an Asia-Pacific Union

NAU Resistance | Nov 30, 2009

By Dana Gabriel

Although some may have viewed President Barack Obama’s recent Asian trip as uneventful and perhaps unsuccessful, he appears to have recommitted to the principles of globalization as the answer to the world’s economic woes. Obama declared his intentions for the U.S. to be fully engaged in Asia economically, politically, and in areas of security. He announced that America would join negotiations for a Trans-Pacific deal. This could be used as an opportunity for the U.S. to reassert its leadership in regards to trade initiatives and might also serve as a stepping stone for a larger free trade agreement.

The recent Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit was held in Singapore and marked its 20th anniversary. It brought together world leaders, foreign, finance and trade ministers, along with other delegates from its 21 member nations. APEC was founded to promote greater trade and integration in the region, but its scope has expanded to include environmental, climate change, energy, as well as other issues. In a Statement by APEC Leaders, they agreed to a new growth paradigm for the Asia-Pacific region, endorsed the goals of the G20 Framework and rejected protectionism. The Leaders, “launched a pathfinder initiative led by Australia, Canada, Japan, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United States to practice self-certification of origin so that businesses can better take advantage of free trade agreements in the region.” This is in an effort to cut costs for exporters and further boost trade. APEC Leaders also agreed to, “continue to explore building blocks towards a possible Free Trade Area of the Asia-Pacific in the future.”

While on his eight-day Asian tour, which included stops in Japan, Singapore, China, as well as South Korea, President Obama recommitted to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). It was President George W. Bush who first pledged U.S. participation in the TPP. The trade deal was put on hold pending a review of U.S. trade policy. A government fact sheet describes the TPP as a, “potential platform for economic integration across the Asia Pacific region. The United States will engage with an initial group of seven like-minded countries, Singapore, Chile, New Zealand, Brunei, Australia, Peru, and Vietnam, to craft a platform for a high-standard, comprehensive agreement – one that reflects U.S. priorities and values – with these and additional Asia-Pacific partners.” Australia will host TPP negotiation sessions in March of next year and a trade treaty could be in place by 2011. Many nations in the region are already bound by various regional and bilateral trade agreements. Expanding the TPP would further distinguish it as the only regional free trade agreement that spans both sides of the Pacific, linking Asia with the Americas. It could also gradually evolve into an Asia-Pacific free trade zone and include APEC members, as well as other nations. Such an undertaking is seen as years away, but U.S. participation in the TPP could speed up such plans.

The United States Trade Representative website reported that after the APEC Summit, “USTR staff and their TPP country counterparts met to discuss work that would need to be done to develop proposals to fill gaps in previous trade agreements and to shape a 21st century trade agreement. These discussions will inform consultations with Congress and with stakeholders about how best to move forward on TPP.” In his article above referenced, Jim Capo noted that, “For the US to undertake negotiations for a trade agreement Congress has first to grant approval to start specific negotiations, and has also to grant Trade Promotion Authority to enable the Executive to conclude the negotiations and put an agreement to Congress with a yes or no vote, without amendments.” He goes on to say that, “There has been no formal Congress approval of TPPA negotiation, President Bush’s Trade Promotion Authority has also expired in March 2007. This means the current US administration has no approval to start negotiation and no authority to conclude them.”

Ahead of the APEC Summit, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd proposed an Asia-Pacific Community by 2020. The regional group would be based on the European Union-style model. It would go beyond APEC and encompass not only economic, but political and security issues. In October of this year, Republican Senator Richard Lugar announced his intentions to introduce legislation aimed at negotiating a free trade agreement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). The first ASEAN-U.S. Leaders meeting was held in Singapore on November 15. In a Joint Statement the U.S., “welcomed ASEAN’s plans to achieve an ASEAN Community by 2015 based on the ASEAN Charter, and reaffirmed its commitment to support those plans.” ASEAN and the U.S. also agreed to hold a second Leaders meeting in 2010.

On his Asian trip, Obama emphasized the need to strengthen old alliances as well as build new partnerships in the region. He said, “the growth of multilateral organizations can advance the security and prosperity of the region.” He also added, “As an Asia-Pacific nation the United States expects to be involved in the discussions that shape the future of this region and to participate fully in appropriate organizations as they are established and evolve.” In his article above referenced, Jim Capo noted that, “The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement is the sister agreement to the Trans-Atlantic Agenda. Together with NAFTA and the North American Leaders Summit (new name for the discredited SPP), these deals are building blocks for an integrated system of global governance managed by Western financial interests and their collaborators around the world.”

Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, as well as other issues.

Contact:beyourownleader@hotmail.com
Visit his blog site at: beyourownleader.blogspot.com

Masonic author: “Third Secret of Fatima refers to Freemasons, Illuminati, Knights Templar and Bogomils”

Pope John Paul II making the sign of fidelity to the Craft.

An initiated Mason throws the gauntlet: Fatima Prophecy Brings John Paul II to Bulgaria

Bulgarian priests used to work in the Vatican’s most secret archives, Dimitar Nedkov reveals in his novel

Standart | Nov 27, 2009

“Pope John Paul II took the decision to visit Sofia at his sole discretion in order to dissolve completely any suspicions of the Bulgarian trace in the attempt on his life. His councilors were absolutely against the idea but he refused to listen to them. This was one of the few cases when the Pope would not take their opinion in consideration.”

This is the gauntlet high-ranking Mason, Dimitar Nedkov throws in his first novel 33 – The Menace Dan Brown.  The book will be released together with the December 1 issue of the Standart. In the book, Nedkov, who is recognized as one of the notable experts in the history of the Freemasons suggests that the mission of John Paul II to Bulgaria was coded in the third prophecy of Fatima. This has been one of the most jelously kept secrets of the Vatican. The Pope was the only person who knew its contents.

The mysterious story began on May 13, 1917. Then three young shepherds witnessed the apparition of the Virgin Mary in the vicinity of a small Portuguese town of Fatima. The vision reappeared on every 13th day of the month till October. Thus the children learnt about the First and Second World War, about the onset of Communism as an official state power.

On her last appearance, Our Lady of Fatima spoke fateful words. In her third prophecy Our Lady said things that were later related by little shepherdess Lucia and written down. Lucia’s writing was put into an envelope and handed to the Bishop of Leiria. Lucia became a nun; her request was the envelope to be opened after 1960. The bishop sent it to the Pope.

After the envelope was opened, the Vatican surprisingly refused to reveal the secret to the general public. The same was the response of Pope John-Paul II. “This is a spiritual message which doesn’t concern any concrete events. It is unnecessary to make a sensation of it,” the Pope explained his decision.

“The third prophecy of Our Lady of Fatima is one of the reasons why the Pope -Freemason John Paul II – was so persevering in his efforts to rehabilitate the Freemasons before the world,” Dimitar Nedkov continues to send challenges in his first novel.

The author hints that the Third Secret of Fatima refers to the Freemasons, the Illuminati, the Knights Templar and the Bogomils. The author claims that it’s the Pope, along with the Grand Commander of the Masons and a monk from Mount Athos, who are the real guardians of the Brotherhood’s greatest secrets.

“Bulgarians have worked in the Vatican’s most secret archive chambers,” Nedkov reveals in his work.

The author alleges that representatives of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church have had access to documents about Pythagoras, Galileo Galilei and the Mysteries of Fatima.

Scientists ‘grow’ meat in laboratory

The move towards artificially engineered foods has taken a step forward after scientists grew a form of meat in a laboratory for the first time.

Telegraph | Nov 29, 2009

By Nick Britten

Researchers in the Netherlands have created what was described as soggy pork and are now investigating ways to improve the muscle tissue in the hope that people will one day want to eat it.

No one has yet tasted the product, but it is believed the artificial meat could be on sale within five years.

Vegetarian groups welcomed the news, saying there was “no ethical objection” if meat was not a piece of a dead animal.

Mark Post, professor of physiology at Eindhoven University, said: “What we have at the moment is rather like wasted muscle tissue. We need to find ways of improving it by training it and stretching it, but we will get there.

“This product will be good for the environment and will reduce animal suffering. If it feels and tastes like meat, people will buy it.

“You could take the meat from one animal and create the volume of meat previously provided by a million animals.”

The scientists extracted cells from the muscle of a live pig and then put them in a broth of other animal products. The cells then multiplied and created muscle tissue. They believe that it can be turned into something like steak if they can find a way to artificially “exercise” the muscle.

The project is backed by the Dutch government and a sausage maker and comes following the creation of artificial fish fillets from goldfish muscle cells.

Meat produced in a laboratory could reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with real animals.

Meat and dairy consumption is predicted to double by 2050 and methane from livestock is said to currently produce about 18 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases.

It was supported by animal rights campaigners. A spokesman for Peta said: “As far as we’re concerned, if meat is no longer a piece of a dead animal there’s no ethical objection.”

However the Vegetarian Society said: “The big question is how could you guarantee you were eating artificial flesh rather than flesh from an animal that had been slaughtered.

“It would be very difficult to label and identify in a way that people would trust.”

The advent of meat grown for consumers could reduce the billions of tons of greenhouse gases emitted each year by farm animals and help meet the United Nation’s predictions that meat and dairy consumption will double by 2050.

However, the latest breakthrough is certain to cause concern amongst the anti-GM lobby.

Last week Prince Charles, a fierce opponent of GM food, warned that people were creating problems by “treating food as an easy commodity rather than a precious gift from nature”.

His comments came as the results of a survey commissioned by the Food Standards Agency revealed concerns about long-term health and environmental impacts of genetically modified products.

It showed shoppers want to be told when meat and milk from cows is genetically modified through clear labelling.

GM supporters say they are aware of risks associated with “engineered” food but believe it benefits the Third World.

Jet contrails above Britain can block sunshine over 20,000 square miles

Jet contrails above Britain can block sunshine over 20,000 square miles

Vapour trails caused by jet aircraft over Britain can cause clouds covering 20,000 square miles, according to Met Office research, reducing sunshine by up to 10 per cent.

Telegraph | Nov 29, 2009

By Alastair Jamieson

Vapour trails caused by jet aircraft over Britain can cause clouds covering 20,000 square miles, according to Met Office research

Analysis of contrails from one large military aircraft circling over the North Sea showed the creation of a thin layer of cloud that, at its peak, covered an area of more than 20,000 square miles.

The Met Office research suggests the collective impact of hundreds of vapour trails can cause a blanket of thin cloud, reducing sunshine for millions who live under busy flight paths.

Contrails, which are clouds of condensed water vapour and soot particles made by the exhaust of jet engines, sometimes disperse within minutes but can also be present in the sky for many hours. They can also act as a catalyst for the formation of further wispy cirrus cloud.

Globally, vapour trails are thought to cut sunshine levels by less than one per cent, but this figure could rise to 10 per cent in areas under busy air corridors, such as the south-east of England, according to The Sunday Times.

The findings echo 2003 research, led Patrick Minnis at NASA’s Langley Research Centre in Virginia, that said contrails “already have substantial regional effects where air traffic is heavy” and that the impact “may become globally significant” because of the growth in air travel.

The Met Office analysis was based on observations of a single military Awacs aircraft circling over the North Sea on a sunny day earlier this year.

Researchers had expected high-level winds to disperse its contrails but instead they appeared to attract more clouds that continued to grow as they were blown southwards until eventually they formed a hazy high-level blanket of cirrus cloud across southeast England.

Jim Haywood, the Met Office’s aerosol research manager who led the new study, told the newspaper: “At its peak the resulting cirrus cloud covered an area of more than 20,000 square miles.”

He added: “Such clouds are normally short-lived but, depending on atmospheric conditions, they can last much longer.”

It is thought that low temperatures at high altitudes can cause ice crystals in the vapour to act as ‘nuclei’ for condensation of more water, resulting in more cloud.

Mr Haywood said aviation-induced cirrus clouds had both a cooling effect, because of sunlight reflected back into space, and a warming effect, because of trapped heat.

“Studies show that, overall, the warming effect is stronger so aviation-induced clouds are helping to warm the planet,” he said.

Copenhagen spy satellites to monitor countries for compliance with climate change targets

Satellites to monitor countries for climate change under Gordon Brown plan

An international satellite monitoring system to check countries comply with new climate change targets was proposed by Gordon Brown last night as a way of binding developing nations into a new deal on the environment.

Telegraph | Nov 28, 2009

By Andrew Porter

It is part of a desperate bid by the Prime Minister to ensure a climate change deal can be salvaged at the Copenhagen summit in 10 days time.

Last night at a meeting in Trinidad he reached agreement with Commonwealth leaders and Nicolas Sarkozy, the French President, to put forward a new £10 billion fund to tackle what Mr Brown said was “a climate emergency.”

He said the Launch Fund would allow the world to break the “deadlock” over a deal at Copenhagen and “get moving on climate change as quickly as possible”.

Mr Brown said: “’Together the collective power of the Commonwealth must be brought together to tackle a new historic injustice, that of climate change.”

Ahead of the UN-sponsored climate change conference in the Danish capital, Mr Brown proposed a £10 billion rich-world fund – to which Britain would contribute £800 million – to give incentives to developing countries to halt deforestation, develop low-carbon energy sources and prepare for the effects of a warmer climate.

To police the new deal satellites would monitor countries, like Papua New Guinea, Guyana and Indonesia, responsible for deforestation. Any country found not to be abiding by the deal would have their funding halted.

But some countries, not least China, are likely to be very wary of allowing international satellites to spy on their country.

The fund would cover the years 2010-12 and deliver funds to poorer states on a “payment by results” system, under which those which showed they were taking action to halt climate change would receive more cash.

Mr Brown added: “The deal would make sure that some of the poorest countries, who are most affected by climate change… can get help so they can mitigate climate change and adopt and make the changes that are necessary.”

Mr Brown will present his ideas to world leaders at the Copenhagen summit. He is confident that Barack Obama will endorse it, despite the American President only attending for a short period at the beginning rather than the end of the gathering.

Britain has accepted that a legally-binding treaty cannot be sealed at Copenhagen, but believes it can be finalised in a matter of months if a top-level political commitment can be reached by world leaders in the Danish capital.

The European Union has already proposed a 100 billion euro (£90 billion) fund for the period up to 2020, but Mr Brown believes it is necessary to get mechanisms in place more quickly in order to ensure that there is no delay in reversing the rise in global temperatures.

Last night Greenpeace gave a lukewarm welcome to Mr Brown’s plan, but urged him to devote more energy to the issue of climate change to try and get a breakthrough at Copenhagen. Leaders have already effectively downgraded what they expect to achieve in December.

John Sauven, Greenpeace’s UK director, said: “Gordon Brown’s plan for a 10 billion dollar climate fund represents an admirable level of ambition, but that’s the easy part.

“The Prime Minister must now prove his commitment to this plan by actually putting the UK’s fair share of the money on the table.

“His Government came up with a rescue package for the banks almost overnight. By showing just a fraction of this urgency, he could help break the deadlock over funding and help kickstart the fight against climate change.”

Climate change: this is the worst scientific scandal of our generation

Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with the Climategate whitewash, says Christopher Booker.

Telegraph | Nov 28, 2009

By Christopher Booker

A week after my colleague James Delingpole, on his Telegraph blog, coined the term “Climategate” to describe the scandal revealed by the leaked emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, Google was showing that the word now appears across the internet more than nine million times. But in all these acres of electronic coverage, one hugely relevant point about these thousands of documents has largely been missed.

The reason why even the Guardian’s George Monbiot has expressed total shock and dismay at the picture revealed by the documents is that their authors are not just any old bunch of academics. Their importance cannot be overestimated, What we are looking at here is the small group of scientists who have for years been more influential in driving the worldwide alarm over global warming than any others, not least through the role they play at the heart of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Professor Philip Jones, the CRU’s director, is in charge of the two key sets of data used by the IPCC to draw up its reports. Through its link to the Hadley Centre, part of the UK Met Office, which selects most of the IPCC’s key scientific contributors, his global temperature record is the most important of the four sets of temperature data on which the IPCC and governments rely – not least for their predictions that the world will warm to catastrophic levels unless trillions of dollars are spent to avert it.

Dr Jones is also a key part of the closely knit group of American and British scientists responsible for promoting that picture of world temperatures conveyed by Michael Mann’s “hockey stick” graph which 10 years ago turned climate history on its head by showing that, after 1,000 years of decline, global temperatures have recently shot up to their highest level in recorded history.

Given star billing by the IPCC, not least for the way it appeared to eliminate the long-accepted Mediaeval Warm Period when temperatures were higher they are today, the graph became the central icon of the entire man-made global warming movement.

Since 2003, however, when the statistical methods used to create the “hockey stick” were first exposed as fundamentally flawed by an expert Canadian statistician Steve McIntyre, an increasingly heated battle has been raging between Mann’s supporters, calling themselves “the Hockey Team”, and McIntyre and his own allies, as they have ever more devastatingly called into question the entire statistical basis on which the IPCC and CRU construct their case.

The senders and recipients of the leaked CRU emails constitute a cast list of the IPCC’s scientific elite, including not just the “Hockey Team”, such as Dr Mann himself, Dr Jones and his CRU colleague Keith Briffa, but Ben Santer, responsible for a highly controversial rewriting of key passages in the IPCC’s 1995 report; Kevin Trenberth, who similarly controversially pushed the IPCC into scaremongering over hurricane activity; and Gavin Schmidt, right-hand man to Al Gore’s ally Dr James Hansen, whose own GISS record of surface temperature data is second in importance only to that of the CRU itself.

There are three threads in particular in the leaked documents which have sent a shock wave through informed observers across the world. Perhaps the most obvious, as lucidly put together by Willis Eschenbach (see McIntyre’s blog Climate Audit and Anthony Watt’s blog Watts Up With That), is the highly disturbing series of emails which show how Dr Jones and his colleagues have for years been discussing the devious tactics whereby they could avoid releasing their data to outsiders under freedom of information laws.

They have come up with every possible excuse for concealing the background data on which their findings and temperature records were based.

This in itself has become a major scandal, not least Dr Jones’s refusal to release the basic data from which the CRU derives its hugely influential temperature record, which culminated last summer in his startling claim that much of the data from all over the world had simply got “lost”. Most incriminating of all are the emails in which scientists are advised to delete large chunks of data, which, when this is done after receipt of a freedom of information request, is a criminal offence.

But the question which inevitably arises from this systematic refusal to release their data is – what is it that these scientists seem so anxious to hide? The second and most shocking revelation of the leaked documents is how they show the scientists trying to manipulate data through their tortuous computer programmes, always to point in only the one desired direction – to lower past temperatures and to “adjust” recent temperatures upwards, in order to convey the impression of an accelerated warming. This comes up so often (not least in the documents relating to computer data in the Harry Read Me file) that it becomes the most disturbing single element of the entire story. This is what Mr McIntyre caught Dr Hansen doing with his GISS temperature record last year (after which Hansen was forced to revise his record), and two further shocking examples have now come to light from Australia and New Zealand.

ClimateGate Who’s Who

In each of these countries it has been possible for local scientists to compare the official temperature record with the original data on which it was supposedly based. In each case it is clear that the same trick has been played – to turn an essentially flat temperature chart into a graph which shows temperatures steadily rising. And in each case this manipulation was carried out under the influence of the CRU.

What is tragically evident from the Harry Read Me file is the picture it gives of the CRU scientists hopelessly at sea with the complex computer programmes they had devised to contort their data in the approved direction, more than once expressing their own desperation at how difficult it was to get the desired results.

The third shocking revelation of these documents is the ruthless way in which these academics have been determined to silence any expert questioning of the findings they have arrived at by such dubious methods – not just by refusing to disclose their basic data but by discrediting and freezing out any scientific journal which dares to publish their critics’ work. It seems they are prepared to stop at nothing to stifle scientific debate in this way, not least by ensuring that no dissenting research should find its way into the pages of IPCC reports.

Back in 2006, when the eminent US statistician Professor Edward Wegman produced an expert report for the US Congress vindicating Steve McIntyre’s demolition of the “hockey stick”, he excoriated the way in which this same “tightly knit group” of academics seemed only too keen to collaborate with each other and to “peer review” each other’s papers in order to dominate the findings of those IPCC reports on which much of the future of the US and world economy may hang. In light of the latest revelations, it now seems even more evident that these men have been failing to uphold those principles which lie at the heart of genuine scientific enquiry and debate. Already one respected US climate scientist, Dr Eduardo Zorita, has called for Dr Mann and Dr Jones to be barred from any further participation in the IPCC. Even our own George Monbiot, horrified at finding how he has been betrayed by the supposed experts he has been revering and citing for so long, has called for Dr Jones to step down as head of the CRU.

The former Chancellor Lord (Nigel) Lawson, last week launching his new think tank, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, rightly called for a proper independent inquiry into the maze of skulduggery revealed by the CRU leaks. But the inquiry mooted on Friday, possibly to be chaired by Lord Rees, President of the Royal Society – itself long a shameless propagandist for the warmist cause – is far from being what Lord Lawson had in mind. Our hopelessly compromised scientific establishment cannot be allowed to get away with a whitewash of what has become the greatest scientific scandal of our age.

Christopher Booker’s The Real Global Warming Disaster: Is the Obsession with ‘Climate Change’ Turning Out to be the Most Costly Scientific Blunder in History? (Continuum, £16.99) is available from Telegraph Books for £14.99 plus £1.25 p & p.

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Related

Climategate: Googlegate?

Telegraph | Nov 29, 2009

By James Delingpole

What is going on at Google? I only ask because last night when I typed “Global Warming” into Google News the top item was Christopher Booker’s superb analysis of the Climategate scandal.

It’s still the most-read article of the Telegraph’s entire online operation – 430 comments and counting – yet mysteriously when you try the same search now it doesn’t even feature. Instead, the top-featured item is a blogger pushing Al Gore’s AGW agenda. Perhaps there’s nothing sinister in this. Perhaps some Google-savvy reader can enlighten me…..

UPDATE: Richard North has some interesting thoughts on this. He too suspects some sort of skullduggery.

This cannot be accidental – there is a quite deliberate attempt to prevent this piece being listed. Repeating the exercise on Bing.com and Yahoo.co.uk news pages gets similar nil results. Yet other headlines from comment pieces from The Sunday Telegraph show up immediately.

Al Gore

Wikipedia

He is currently the founder and chair of Alliance for Climate Protection, the co-founder and chair of Generation Investment Management, the co-founder and chair of Current TV, a member of the Board of Directors of Apple Inc., and a senior advisor to Google.

Gore: The number of polar bears have increased, actually, and are increasing.

Queen admonishes Commonwealth leaders to lead fight against changing climate

Queen tells Commonwealth leaders they are central to climate change fight. Photo: Annie Leibovitz

The Commonwealth has an opportunity to take a ”lead” in the international response to the challenge of climate change, the Queen told world leaders.

Telegraph | Nov 28, 2009

In a speech which launched a major gathering of presidents and prime ministers the monarch highlighted how their meeting, where the growing environmental threat would be discussed, was being held on the eve of the critical Copenhagen climate change summit.

Her comments came as Prime Minister Gordon Brown, also attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Trinidad and Tobago, proposed a 10 billion dollar rich world fund to ”kickstart” efforts to tackle climate change.

Britain would contribute £800 million to the project which aims to encourage poorer countries to start cutting greenhouse gas emissions immediately.

The Queen, who is head of the Commonwealth, which celebrates its 60th anniversary this year, told delegates: ”The Commonwealth can be proud of the fact that in each of its six decades, it has shaped the international response to emerging global challenges.

”And on this, the eve of the UN Copenhagen summit on climate change, the Commonwealth has an opportunity to lead once more.”

The Queen, speaking in the capital Port of Spain, added: ”The threat to our environment is not a new concern. But it is now a global challenge which will continue to affect the security and stability of millions for years to come.

”Many of those affected are among the most vulnerable, and many of the people least well able to withstand the adverse effects of climate change live in the Commonwealth.”

The Commonwealth has been conscious of the threat global warming poses to the planet for more than two decades.

In 1987, heads of government commissioned a landmark scientific study on the effects of variations to the world’s climate. Led by British scientist Martin Holdgate, it was published two years later and warned of the calamitous risks of inaction.

The same year the Commonwealth leaders agreed the Langkawi Declaration on the environment which went on to influence the 1992 Rio Earth summit declaration.

At the last CHOGM two years ago the heads of government concluded that climate change presented a direct threat to the very survival of some of their 53 member states.

Twenty five of these are small island nations that are highly exposed and vulnerable to the effects of changes to the world’s temperature.

Last month President Mohamed Nasheed, leader of the Maldives – a Commonwealth member – held a cabinet meeting underwater to highlight the issue.