Home Environment Commonwealth SG to Businesses: Step up & Fight Against Climate Change 

Commonwealth SG to Businesses: Step up & Fight Against Climate Change 


KC Patricia Scotland the Secretary General of the Commonwealth has urged Senior government officials, international experts, and members of the business community to “unlock” private sector finance to bolster climate action in small and other vulnerable countries.

“With the growing climate uncertainties and mounting financial needs for climate adaptation and mitigation, member countries across the Commonwealth are keen to see businesses take up a greater role in the fight against climate change” She highlighted.

Scotland made these remarks at a side event co-organized by the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Governments of Saint Lucia, Namibia, and Zambia at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) 

that is currently happening in Egypt.

Scotland also noted that to address the impacts of climate change and meet ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions to net zero, Common Wealth countries will need an estimated US$4 trillion each year by 2030 which will aid the unprecedented investment for the deployment of technologies to speed the energy transition.

“The climate finance flows in 2021 reached around US$632 billion just a sixth of what is required. We cannot fill this gap without the private sector.” She articulated.

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In his remarks, the Minister of Education, Sustainable Development, Innovation, and Science Technology of Saint Lucia, Hon. Shawn Edward highlighted the devastating climate disasters that small island states recurrently face and the vast amounts of debt that governments must accrue to finance recovery efforts.

“To deal with the impacts of climate change, small island developing states (SIDS) like Saint Lucia have to go out and search for resources on a continuous basis, because the monies promised are not fourth coming Consequently, we SIDS have to borrow to deal with our climate change issues and that creates a situation where we are saddled with debt that is not sustainable.” He added.

The Minister of Green Economy and Environment of Zambia, Hon. Collins Nzovu emphasized that while vulnerable countries are responsible for just 4 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, they are the most affected by climate change.

“Many are also charged above average interest rates on loans, due to their “high risk” classification, leading to further debt distress. Hon. Nzovu added.

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This event also featured presentations by the Director of the Eswatini Meteorological Services at the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, Duduzile Nhlengethwa-Masina who highlighted the work undertaken by the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub in the Government of Eswatini to develop a private sector engagement strategy for climate action, as well as the Executive Director of the Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance.

The presentation was followed by a panel discussion that highlighted the role of multinational companies in raising climate finance, the opportunities, and challenges for green investments in developing countries, as well as innovative financing solutions such as debt-for-nature swaps.

The session ended with a statement by the Head of Climate Change at the Commonwealth Secretariat Unnikrishnan Nair, who shared a five-point agenda on engaging the private sector in the work of the Commonwealth Finance Access Hub (CCFAH).

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