Commonwealth initiative aims to reverse effects of climate change by 2045

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The Commonwealth has unveiled a new initiative to reverse climate change.

Leaders from around 170 countries including NZ signed the climate change accords in New York yesterday.

Source: 1 NEWS

Some of the world's leading environmental experts gathered in London for a second time to explore cutting-edge approaches to reducing carbon emissions while still boosting development and economic growth.

The Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland says there's a realistic opportunity to reverse effects by 2045 using a regenerative development approach.

Tapping into volcanic hot springs for electricity and regenerating coastal wetlands isn't new but it's hoped that if countries work together and share ideas, progress can be made.

However, the Secretary General is aware of the challenges.

"It will take determination, political will and integrated working in a way and on a scale that we have not necessarily been able to do before and it will take focus," Ms Scotland said.

Climate scientist Tom Goreau says politicians don't understand how serious the impacts are going to be and we can't wait for people who don't get it.

"There's hope but only if act very quickly."

He worries the world's focus is on reducing emissions' reductions when we need to remove the excess CO2 in the air.

The information will be offered to all Commonwealth countries but it's hoped three will step forward to test the strategies and show the world it works.

The Secretary General already has her sales pitch ready.

"We've just got a few ideas that might help you get there faster, better and easier and cheaper and we're going to give it to you for zero. So not a bad deal!"

Prince Charles, a lifelong environmentalist, also spoke at the conference and said the Commonwealth could become a pivotal voice on such matters.

"This initiative embodies a welcome shift towards a more holistic approach to climate issues from which I believe other initiatives can draw strength."

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