Climate Change & The Environment

Climate change is having a catastrophic impact on the world’s most vulnerable countries, especially small states - and over half of Commonwealth countries are least-developed countries, small island developing states (SIDS) or both.

As such, Commonwealth nations are deeply concerned about the threat posed by climate change, which continues to grow and to put at risk the economic, social, environmental, and cultural well-being of their citizens. The adverse impacts of climate change are rolling back decades of development gains in some of the most vulnerable states and the consequences of climate change can be a national catastrophe, requiring urgent responses and significant support.

The Commonwealth has long been at the forefront of global action on climate change, and it represents more than one quarter of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Paris Climate Change Conference (COP21) agreement to limit global emissions well below 2 degrees Celsius, with an aspiration of 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels has been hailed as a ‘breakthrough’ - and the ‘world’s greatest diplomatic success’. The 2015 CHOGM also saw developed Commonwealth countries reaffirm their commitment to help mobilise US$100 billion annually by 2020 to address the adaptation and mitigation needs of developing countries.

Commonwealth Business Communications is keen to support the Commonwealth in promoting practical and policy solutions to tackle the complex problem of climate change, alongside other key environmental areas including the marine environment, forestry and sustainable consumption and production.

The need for responsible management of the planet’s natural resources has never been more apparent, urgent or within reach. The Commonwealth can play a significant role in catalysing change towards more sustainable consumption and production.

Did you know?

  • Many small and developing Commonwealth countries are among those with the lowest ecological footprints worldwide.
  • Between 1900 and 2009, the extraction of resources climbed from 7 billion tonnes to 68 billion tonnes. Now it is set to double in just one-third of that time, with predictions it will reach 140 billion tonnes by 2050.

Source: Commonwealth Secretariat. See more at