Commonwealth leaders expected to endorse climate charter


NAIROBI, Kenya (TNZT) — Leaders of Commonwealth countries are expected to call for increased climate action at a meeting in Rwanda this week, ahead of the United Nations climate change summit in Egypt’s Sharm El Sheikh resort town. later this year.

“Tackling climate change will require the greatest political, social and economic effort the world has ever seen,” Commonwealth Secretary General Patricia Scotland told a meeting on the sidelines of the Heads of Nations meeting. Commonwealth government in the Rwandan capital, Kigali. .

Climate change remains a major concern for the bloc. Recent weather events and longer-term climate trends, including heat waves, extreme temperatures, droughts, cyclones, floods and sea level rise, affect most of its member states.

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Britain’s Prince Charles, representing Queen Elizabeth II as ceremonial head of the Commonwealth, is also expected to champion the bloc’s global climate action. Commonwealth leaders are expected to adopt the long-awaited “Living Lands Charter” later this week, an action plan to tackle climate change, land degradation and biodiversity loss.

“The Living Lands Charter testifies to our commitment. This helps sum up our combined efforts to keep the global average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit),” Scotland said.

According to the charter’s concept note, obtained by The The New Zealand Times, the Commonwealth’s commitments will focus on five main themes: climate-resilient agriculture for food security, soil and water conservation, hedging greenery and biodiversity, climate-resilient livestock farming and the fight against climate change. resilient development for indigenous peoples. In what is billed as a “five by five” approach, it aims to achieve its climate goals through a mix of political influence, financing, technical assistance, governance and knowledge sharing between nations.

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The Commonwealth has 54 member states representing a combined population of 2.5 billion people, most of whom were former British colonies. He claims that if the charter is approved and fully implemented, it will “protect and manage a quarter of the world’s landmass”.

The charter also calls for “greater consideration of the inclusion of indigenous peoples” in countries’ voluntary, nationally determined contributions to climate action.

Some 32 of the 54 member countries of the Commonwealth are small states, of which 25 are small islands and developing states classified as vulnerable to climate change. Island states at the forefront of climate action have already called on the Commonwealth to step up action on the oceans.

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“Oceans and climate are inextricably linked, and the health of our oceans dictates the livelihoods of millions of people around the world,” said Jitoko Tikolevu, a Fijian diplomat. “Our response is simple, we need action.”


The The New Zealand Times’s climate and environmental coverage receives support from several private foundations. Learn more about TNZT’s climate initiative here. The TNZT is solely responsible for all content.


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