In Pakistan, devastating floods have claimed more than 1,700 lives and affected 33 million people since June…reports Asian Lite News
With delegates at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) officially having just 48 hours to complete negotiations, and the Egyptian Presidency reporting that many issues remain unresolved, Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has urged countries to progress talks towards a meaningful outcome.
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.
In her statement to the conference plenary, Scotland emphasised: “As climate change advances, we have lost momentum. The gap on emissions, finance and justice has widened, while the window for action continues to narrow.
“It is our duty to close that gap — and this process is our only chance. Because we cannot compromise with catastrophe, so we must compromise with each other.”
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 Secretary-General continued: “Vulnerable states face being consumed by the waves or drowned by debt. The unthinkable has become typical.
“We must reject the violence of inaction against those who need us to succeed, now and for generations to come, and commit ourselves to action on land, ocean, energy, finance and resilience.”
The Commonwealth comprises 56 member countries 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 “coordinated 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 is heading 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.
This includes initiatives such as the Commonwealth Living Lands Charter, the Commonwealth Blue Charter, the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub and the Commonwealth Sustainable Energy Agenda.