Climate Action in the Commonwealth

Patricia Espinosa
Patricia Espinosa
Executive Secretary, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The next two years must see major progress towards the low carbon, sustainable development model which offers the only realistic path to security and well-being for all people. The Paris Climate Change Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals, universally agreed under the United Nations, stand as the international community’s momentous commitment to turn humanity back from the cliff-edge of extreme climate change and environmental collapse. The challenge is like none that we have seen before, because it encompasses everybody in every nation, and demands that all work together towards the common goal.

If this reads partly like an extract from the founding principles of the Commonwealth, it is meant to do so and reflects the strong lead that the Commonwealth has continued to take in pressing for the full implementation of both agreements.

Tipping points – action now or wait until too late?

This existential, planetary-wide threat breaks down all old barriers and assumptions. There is no safe hiding place for any country, developed or developing. For a while the rich and secure may dodge the direct impacts better than the poor and vulnerable, but their ultimate fate will be the same, if we do not succeed. The time to step up and accelerate common action on climate and sustainable development has come for two fundamental reasons...

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