Climate finance a “fundamental issue of trust”: Commonwealth Secretary-General

1st November 2021
5 min read

The Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has called for developed countries to finally honour the decade-long pledge to make $100 billion available each year to fight climate change in developing countries.

Climate Vulnerable Forum

Speaking at a high level joint event co-organised with the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) this morning in Glasgow at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, the Secretary-General descried the funding as “both to deliver the intended impact on the ground, but also as a fundamental issue of trust.”

She said: “Promises should be kept… Commonwealth diplomacy is about taking our collective determination – and the experiences that leaders, ministers and citizens from across the Commonwealth share with us – into the heart of global climate negotiations.”

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Commonwealth-Climate Vulnerable Forum event at COP26

Fundamental threats

The event featured a keynote address by the Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina, as chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, as well as statements from a prominent line up of leaders across the Commonwealth, including the President of Guyana Irfaan Ali, the President of Maldives Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the Prime Minister of Eswatini Cleopas Dlamini and other ministerial delegates and envoys.

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Speakers at the Commonwealth-Climate Vulnerable Forum event at COP26

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina stated: “The 48 members of the CVF account for only 5 per cent of the total global emission. However, the adverse impacts of climate change have posed fundamental threats to our lives and livelihoods.

“Our vulnerability and necessity for adequate climate finance and technology transfer must be recognised by the international community. The major emitting countries need to fulfil their obligations to support us in our efforts to cope with the effects of climate change.”

Strengthening climate financing

Both CVF and the Commonwealth expressed their solidarity in support of strengthening climate financing for resilience and prosperity. The event also supported knowledge-sharing and capacity-building collaboration between the two groups of countries.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina added: “The Commonwealth countries have a long history of commitment and contributions in addressing the challenges of the climate change. With more than one-third of CVF member states being also the members of the Commonwealth, I firmly believe that the joint efforts of the CVF and the Commonwealth Members can act as a catalyst for implementation of the Paris Agreement.”

The CVF is a diverse partnership of 48 of the world’s most climatically-vulnerable countries from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific. They represent 1.2 billion people, but contribute only 5 per cent of total global emissions. A third of the CVF countries are from the Commonwealth, including the majority of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and low lying littoral countries such as Bangladesh.

Environment and climate change