Climate change challenges: the Commonwealth’s path towards COP26

As the organisers of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) set out its priorities, we can expect the launch of a wide range of initiatives, all seeking to raise public awareness of the challenges facing our planet. Globally, the UN’s new Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030) sets out to reverse the decline in ocean health and create sustainable development programmes for coastal states; and locally, the UK-based Climate Coalition will highlight the impact of climate change on public health.

The Commonwealth has a great opportunity to contribute to the outcome of COP26 as its extraordinary diversity enables it to speak without regional or economic bias. Whilst all its members can identify their key priorities, the challenges facing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are common to many of its members, the largest community of SIDS worldwide. What experience can these bring to COP26 and share to wider benefit? What message should they take to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in June and how might its outcome link to the UN Conference in November?

Sir Ronald Sanders Ambassador of Antigua and Barbuda to the United States and to the Organisation of American States; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; Former High Commissioner in London and member and Rapporteur, Commonwealth Eminent Persons Group (2010–2011).

Gabrielle Swaby Jamaican-born researcher into global climate diplomacy, policy and governance at the International Institute for Environment and Development, helping the Least Developed Countries Group in the UN climate change negotiations with particular attention to mitigation and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Revd. Guy Hewitt Former High Commissioner of Barbados in London and its representative on the International Maritime Organisation; Senior Research Fellow, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London; Governor, Board of the Commonwealth Secretariat.

Welcome: Professor Philip Murphy, Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London.

Moderator: David Wardrop, Westminster United Nations Association.

Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Sir Ronald Sanders, Gabrielle Swaby, Revd. Guy Hewitt, Professor Philip Murph and David Wardrop
Event date: 
Thursday, 25 March 2021 - 5:00pm