Commonwealth Secretary-General to Accelerate Climate Action at COP 28

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, The Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, is poised to lead the Commonwealth delegation at COP28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Dubai. Her primary objective will be to galvanize accelerated action on the climate crisis, especially in the face of escalating threats to smaller and vulnerable member countries.

Taking place from November 30 to December 12, the summit follows closely after Commonwealth Environment Ministers pledged to expedite climate action during their inaugural meeting alongside the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

Secretary-General Scotland is set to deliver over 20 speeches during the summit, stressing the urgent need for a transformative outcome. Her key points include the necessity to speed up the implementation of national climate plans as outlined in the Paris Agreement, leveraging the ‘global stock-take’ report to boost ambition, and establishing an inclusive, operational Loss and Damage Fund.

As part of her engagements, Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, will inaugurate the Commonwealth Pavilion at COP28, hosting approximately 40 events over the two weeks. This platform aims to facilitate crucial dialogues among Governments, experts, businesses, youth leaders, and civil society showcasing the Commonwealth’s capacity for such pivotal exchanges.

Additionally, she will hold meetings with leaders and Ministers from Commonwealth member countries and international stakeholders to advance discussions on emissions, finance, adaptation, biodiversity, oceans, health, innovation and the green economy.

Expressing her urgency before the summit, the Commonwealth Secretary-General stated:

“The dire forecasts of climate change have become daily realities, significantly impacting our most vulnerable nations. From eroding lands to depleting water sources, storms, floods, and rising sea levels, these crises threaten the well-being, stability, and economic future of millions.

“However, as climate change intensifies, disparities in emissions, finance, and justice have widened, while our window for effective action shrinks. COP28 must bridge that gap. Delaying action only exacerbates risks and escalates costs. There can be no more delays or excuses; now is the time for implementation.”

Secretary-General Scotland underscored the critical need to cap global warming at 1.5°C, emphasizing the pivotal role of leaders at COP28 in steering the world toward a resilient and sustainable future for generations to come.

Commonwealth Initiatives
Secretary-General Scotland will highlight various Commonwealth initiatives aimed at supporting member countries in combating climate challenges during her address at COP28:

Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub: Mobilizing US $310 Million in climate finance for 17 vulnerable Commonwealth countries, with an additional US $500 Million in the pipeline.

Commonwealth Blue Charter: An agreement among 56 member countries to actively collaborate on addressing shared ocean challenges.

Commonwealth Living Lands Charter: A commitment to safeguard global land resources while taking coordinated action on climate change, biodiversity loss and sustainable land management.

Commonwealth Disaster Risk Finance Portal: Providing countries with open, 24-hour access to key disaster financing information.

Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition Agenda: Aiming for an inclusive, equitable transition to low-carbon energy systems across the group.

Given that 2023 has been designated as the Commonwealth Year of Youth, the delegation will focus on youth-led initiatives to tackle climate challenges.


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