The 53-nation Commonwealth has said climate change
poses an "existential threat" to some of its member states, and urged
participants at the Paris climate talks to produce a legally binding
agreement on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The Commonwealth — a grouping of Britain and many of its former colonies that is home to more than 2 billion people — includes industrialized economies such as Canada and Australia, resource-hungry India and small island states vulnerable to rising sea levels.
When forest fires roared through Siberia this summer, so vast that the
smoke blocked vast Lake Baikal from satellite view, Russian officials
blamed the blazes on arsonists and disorganized fire crews.
Environmentalists say there was another culprit: global warming.
As temperatures rise worldwide, areas such as Siberia are suffering increasingly long dry spells. Russia's national weather agency says the country is the fastest-warming part of the world.