June 7, 2023


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COP26 – Commonwealth chief calls for “highest possible ambition” at climate summit

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has called for all countries to deliver an ambitious and transformative outcome at the imminent UN Climate Change Conference COP26, while appealing for increased support for the smallest and most vulnerable nations.

The Secretary-General will lead a delegation to the summit, to advocate for the interests of the 54 member countries, including 32 small states, and raise awareness about key Commonwealth actions to address the climate crisis.

Days ahead of the summit, the Secretary-General said:

“I urge leaders to come to the table with the highest possible ambition and a reinvigorated determination to do all we can to keep a 1.5 degree cap on global warming. The science is clear – failing on this mission will cost us a viable, sustainable future for our children and grandchildren. We must not squander this opportunity to build back on a more sustainable path.

“I call on governments to align their COVID-19 recovery planning to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The developed world needs to keep its promise to deliver US$100 billion every year through to 2025 to support developing countries as they try to cope with the damaging impacts of this climate crisis. Additional financial support is also needed to address loss and damage, particularly for the most vulnerable.”

The Commonwealth Secretariat will be hosting a pavilion at the COP26 venue for the first time, with a wide range of in-person and hybrid events planned over two weeks from 1 – 12 November. An online hub containing event information, live online broadcasts and other resources is now available.

The Secretariat will also be launching a number of key initiatives at COP26, in the area of climate finance, sustainable land management, energy transition, natural resource management and ocean action.

  • The Commonwealth Secretary-General and relevant spokespeople will be available for media interviews around COP26 and climate change. For media requests, please see contact information below.
  • View the Commonwealth Pavilion event schedule
  • Visit https://climate.thecommonwealth.org to watch events live and find more information about Commonwealth Secretariat activities at COP26

Notes to Editors

  • The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states. Our combined population is 2.5 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.
  • The Commonwealth spans the globe and includes both advanced economies and developing countries. Thirty-two of our members are small states, many of which are island nations.
  • The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Our work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality.
  • Member countries are supported by a network of more than 80 intergovernmental, civil society, cultural and professional organisations.
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