Commonwealth leaders have endorsed a legally binding international agreement on climate change and a global fund to help poorer countries meet the agreement’s mandates. This 53-country gathering was the largest meeting of world leaders to take place before the actual UN summit on climate change in Copenhagen next month. Commonwealth leaders said an agreement should be acceded to by 2010 and support money should be available simultaneously – up to $10 billion a year starting in 2012. Ten percent or more of the funds should go to small-island and low-lying coastal countries most at risk from global warming (before they are actually under water, apparently). Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen, host of the Copenhagen summit, and UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said the joint declaration was evidence of growing momentum for next month's summit. Some 90 countries have now agreed to attend the summit in Denmark. Endorsement of the global fund grew as Gordon Brown of the UK and Nicolas Sarkozy of France both backed the idea. However, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his country was willing to sign a global target, but set no figure and insisted it needed “equitable burden sharing”. For more, read the AP
Terry Pratchett forged his own sword from iron and meteorites purely for the occasion of the awarding of his knighthood.