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A Commonwealth of the People? The three-part series answering pressing questions about the Commonwealth's future. View Now

The Indentured Remembered

Watch the recording of this event with three dramatic monologues on 19th-century indenture in Guyana, Mauritius and South Africa.

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Festive Poetry Event

Every society, every community, has its poets. They are the first storytellers, the ones who weave words into images, capture and interpret feelings and ideas […]

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Featured projects

Pattern Grant funded

Basic income support in the context of Covid-19 and beyond

This project is funded by extra-budgetary resources provided by the Government of Canada.
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Pattern Grant funded

Strengthening inter-cluster capacity to engage in policy and programme review

This project is funded by extra-budgetary resources provided by the Government of Canada.
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Upcoming Commonwealth Foundation Events
2:00 pm, 15 Feb 2022 to 3:30 pm, 15 Feb 2022 GMT
Virtual Event

Climate Reparations: Opportunities and Obstacles for the Commonwealth’s Small Island States

Climate finance, particularly compensation for ‘loss and damage’, is a critical issue for the Commonwealth’s small and vulnerable states.

These states have felt the catastrophic effects of global heating, including the increasing intensity and frequency of hurricanes, cyclones, and flooding. Climate finance offers small and vulnerable states protection and mitigation from these threats—if they can access it.

With limited resources of their own, small and vulnerable states are naturally dependent on larger ones for the financial support they need. The great irony, and tragedy, is that they are dependent on the very nations who have benefited from decades of high energy use and carbon pollution.

Despite the urgency of the situation, compensation for loss and damage remains a contentious issue in multilateral forums and funding has not been forthcoming. All the while the citizens of small and vulnerable states remain at risk.

As carbon emissions continue at alarming rates, the movement for holding polluters financially accountable for the damage they have caused is growing. But without significant political or economic leverage, small and vulnerable states have struggled to make climate reparations a reality. So, what options do small and vulnerable states have?

This Critical Conversation will bring together a panel of climate negotiators, climate justice activists, small island decision-makers, climate policy thought leaders and legal experts to answer this question and more:

  • Can multilateralism deliver the necessary compensation owed to the people bearing the brunt of the climate crisis?  
  • What approaches must leaders and activists now utilise to build their power? 
  • Can initiatives such as debt cancellation or debt-for-climate swaps yield just results? 
  • Could the recent establishment of a Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law, with the power to make legal claims against ‘polluters’, be the answer?

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