The Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland, has urged countries attending the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Sharm El-Sheikh to progress talks towards a meaningful outcome by the end of the week.
As the final days of negotiations approach for the annual summit, attended by more than 35,000 delegates from almost 200 nations, the Secretary-General called for actions that will close the gaps on emissions, finance and justice, while taking into account the needs of vulnerable countries.
She highlighted the series of climate disasters that have affected millions of people across the Commonwealth in recent months. In Pakistan, devastating floods have claimed more than 1,700 lives and affected 33 million people since June. Similarly in Nigeria, more than 600 people have died and 1.3 million displaced, due to the worst floods seen in the country in more than a decade.
The Commonwealth comprises 56 member countries, including Togo, brought together by shared values and principles, including 33 small states, 25 of which are small island developing states.
In 1989, Commonwealth Heads of Government met in Langkawi, Malaysia, and raised the alarm on the “permanent and irreversible damage” to the environment, demanding a “co-ordinated global effort” to address the challenge.
Since then, the Commonwealth has championed global advocacy around climate change and ocean action.
This year, Secretary-General Scotland heads a delegation from the Commonwealth Secretariat to COP27, with the aim of amplifying the concerns of member countries, advocating for small and other vulnerable states, supporting partnerships and raising awareness about the various Commonwealth programmes offered to support members.