Commonwealth SG calls on world leaders to close the gap in COP26 negotiations


By Pita Ligaiula in Glasgow

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland has appealed to world leaders to close the gap on climate change negotiations as most vulnerable countries depends on it.

Addressing the High-level segment at the COP26 in Glasgow, Patricia Scotland said closing the gap between what we know needs to happen, and what is actually happening, falls to each of us.

“We must not just raise aspirations, we must deliver bold action.

“We can be the difference. Do not grow weary and lose heart. Dig deeper, come together, and close the gap in these negotiations.

“That gap is measured in years, percentages, and points of a degree. Out there it is measured in human life, health, wealth and the ability of people everywhere to flourish. 2.5 billion people from our 54 member states call the Commonwealth home – 60 percent of whom are under age 30,” said SG Scotland.

She said millions are already losing lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change but they are fighting.

“We are all in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat. We must craft a sustainable recovery for all.

“If we lose vulnerable nations who have battled with courage and resilience we lose the fight against climate change. We cannot fail.

“We must too. They know that, without action, the force and frequency of violent weather, fire, shortages of food, water and the threat of rising seas will continue to intensify until it overwhelms them. They require inclusive, just and equitable actions,” she emphasised.

Scotland said that the Commonwealth has been bold and consistent in their advocacy and their practical support – not least the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub, Blue Charter, and the Disaster Risk Finance Portal.

“But our work alone is not enough. If the gaps on emissions, improving access to climate finance does not materialise, we risk the most vulnerable nations amongst us being subsumed by sea level rise and being engulfed by debt, exacerbated by the Covid-19 Pandemic,” SG Scotland said