Africa Climate Summit: Commonwealth Secretary-General intensifies climate finance campaign

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Alhaji Haruna Sani

The Commonwealth Secretary-General, the Rt Hon Patricia Scotland KC, has expressed desire for the need to ramp up global support for greater climate finance commitments at the Africa Climate Summit, taking place from 4to 6 September in Nairobi, Kenya.

According a press release issued by the Common Wealth Secretariat, the summit, held under the theme ‘Driving Green Growth and Climate Finance Solutions for Africa and the World’, is a critical juncture for the African continent to mobilise action in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 in November.

Vulnerable countries and populations in Africa are particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change, such as unpredictable weather patterns and more extreme weather, which affects millions of lives, livelihoods and homes.

It is further outlineed in the presser that the Secretary-General is scheduled to meet with various Heads of State from the region as well as world leaders in Nairobi, including the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, to advocate actions that will unlock billions in climate finance to support vulnerable nations, as well as improve access to those funds.  

Those includes delivering on the annual commitment of US$100 billion in climate finance promised to developing nations since 2009, and the operationalisation of an inclusive and fit for purpose Loss and Damage Fund, which was agreed last year at COP27 to help vulnerable countries cope with the devastating impacts of climate change.

The Secretary-General said: “I urge leaders, the international community, the private sector and civil society – together, we must all step up and drive this transformation. The means and the solutions to realise our ambitions under the Paris Agreement are already available to us – there is no excuse for a delay in action. Ignoring the consequences of inaction will hurt the most vulnerable the hardest, not to mention the generations that follow.”

The Secretary-General is leading a delegation of senior experts from the Commonwealth Secretariat, who will also be sharing key insights and best practices garnered from flagship programmes such as the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub (CCFAH), the Commonwealth Blue Charter, the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Transition Agenda and the Commonwealth Living Lands Charter: A Call to Action on Living Lands (CALL),  including their enhanced focus in supporting the Africa region.

The letter also  inform all that today, 5th September, the Secretary-General will take part in a high-level panel alongside the President of Somalia, H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohmaud, the President of Mozambique H.E Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and the Vice President of Colombia H.E Francia Elena Marquez Mina, focusing on unlocking the potential of a “regenerative blue economy” in Africa and globally.

During the mission, the Secretary-General will also hold a dialogue with environment and climate ministers from across the Africa region, to discuss expectations and key concerns ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference COP28.  

Discussions will feed into the first ever Commonwealth Environment and Climate Ministers’ Meeting, to take place in the margins of the United Nations General Assembly meetings in New York on 21 September.

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 56 independent and equal sovereign states. Its 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-three of its 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.

The Commonwealth admitted Gabon and Togo as its 55th and 56th members respectively at the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Kigali, Rwanda in June 2022. Prior to this, Rwanda was the last country to join in 2009.

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