Date & Time3:00pm, 28 October 2021 - 4:30pm, 28 October 2021
About the event
The Foundation is partnering with the Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS), the Independent Forum of Commonwealth Organisations (IFCO), and The UN SIDS ‘Sharp End’ partnership to deliver a symposium on climate change policy and the Commonwealth. Held three days before the start of COP26 in Glasgow, the symposium will address pressing Commonwealth climate change issues.
COP26 represents challenge and opportunity for the Commonwealth. Oil-rich Commonwealth developing countries face the challenge of balancing their commitments to Net Zero with their own development needs. Meanwhile, Small Island States see opportunities to advocate for policies that could save them from the existential threat caused by global heating. This symposium will identify these challenges and opportunities – and look for a path forward.
Many Commonwealth organisations and countries have made significant contributions towards achieving the 1.5°C target set out in the Paris Agreement. These contributions are highly commendable, especially given the damage done to climate policy research caused by cuts in development spending. Replicating these successes could be transformative for the Commonwealth and the climate – particularly for Small States with limited climate policy capacity. This symposium will look at these achievements and ask what lessons can be transferred across countries and regions.
Finally, the symposium will examine the Commonwealth’s impact. This global network of Member States, Accredited Organisations, universities, cities, and professional bodies offers huge potential for climate action. But where should the Commonwealth focus its efforts to make a difference? Could Commonwealth Organisations work more closely with the many regional organisations which, although not explicitly Commonwealth-focused, share their purpose and values?
Professor Philip Murphy is the Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.
Dr Nicholas Watts is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies.
Dr Anne T Gallagher AO is Director-General of the Commonwealth Foundation.
Dr Neville Trotz is former Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and a veteran of the Commonwealth Secretariat.
Lucy Slack is Acting Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum.
Dr David Smith is the Director of The Centre for Environmental Management at the University of West Indies.
Dr. Lisa Benjamin is an Assistant Professor at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland Oregon. Her research focuses on climate justice and climate risk, and how these issues intersect with energy law and administrative law.
Dr Britta Rennkamp is a senior researcher at the African Climate and Development Initiative at the University of Cape Town. She focuses on climate policy and technology in developing countries and the links between poverty, inequality, energy and mitigation of climate change.
The Institute of Commonwealth Studies (ICwS) is the only postgraduate academic institution in the United Kingdom devoted to the study of the Commonwealth. The Institute is a national and international centre of excellence for policy-relevant research, research facilitation and teaching.
The Independent Forum of Commonwealth Organisations (IFCO) brings together representatives of Commonwealth Organisations to develop policy ideas for consideration at the Heads of Government Meeting, and for prospective endorsement in the Communique issued when the Meeting ends.
The UN SIDS ‘Sharp End’ partnership is a collection of organisations working to support a wider global process of learning from the sharp end experience of SIDS in dealing with environmental uncertainty and climate change through developing a wide and inclusive network of post-secondary and tertiary education institutions, specialists, and international organisations. The partnership was initiated at an international conference on the theme of Learning from the Sharp End of Environmental Uncertainty in Small Island States at the University of Bristol in July 2014.
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