Commonwealth leaders move to accelerate climate-change action

From the press unit in the Office of the Prime Minister

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – The prime minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Hon. Dr. Timothy Harris, joined fellow leaders of the Commonwealth community during a forum held within the margins of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in London for in-depth discussions on climate change and its varying impacts on member countries.

The Climate Change and the Commonwealth Forum held at the InterContinental London Park Lane Hotel Tuesday morning sought to encourage leaders to demonstrate their goal of delivering a more sustainable future by setting more ambitious climate-change goals and accelerated action by member countries.

Tuesday’s forum, held under the theme “Accelerating Action,” was chaired by Prime Minister of Fiji and President of COP23 the Hon. Frank Bainimarama and also featured remarks from Secretary General of the Commonwealth the Right Hon. Patricia Scotland QC.

Among the topics addressed during the important dialogue were COP23 presidency priorities for 2018, post-Paris Agreement priorities and call to action, and the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy Project, which is a global conservation initiative that seeks to preserve precious areas of forest for future generations.

Prime Minister Bainimarama also led discussions on the Talanoa Dialogue. This process takes stock of collective efforts to reduce emissions and build greater resilience in line with the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and to prepare updated or new (Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) by 2020.

Prime Minister Harris has long been a firm advocate for greater climate-change adaptation strategies. Following the passage of hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 that left several Caribbean islands in a state of devastation, including St. Kitts and Nevis, the St. Kitts and Nevis Prime minister called on CARICOM member states to move toward building a more climate-resilient Caribbean region.

As part of his packed agenda at the 2018 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting Harris also joined his CARICOM counterparts for a meeting with Prime Minister Theresa May on the issue of undocumented Caribbean migrants.