Following the conclusion of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in London today, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, Mohamed Adow, said:
“It is no surprise that the issue of climate change featured highly this week with so many member states affected by rising temperatures and rising sea levels. From the Pacific islands to sub-Saharan Africa the people of the Commonwealth are on the front line of a changing climate.
“It is good to see Commonwealth leaders commit to limiting global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement. But sadly we are currently not on track to achieve that with the pledges currently contained in the Paris Agreement only getting us to a world of between 2.7 and 3.5 degrees of warming.
“Thankfully nations are engaging with the Talanoa Dialogue, the process of reviewing and ratcheting up these pledges so that they become fit for purpose. Through the G7 and into the UN negotiations in Poland in December it is vital we see greater ambition from wealthier countries.
“Christian Aid’s analysis has shown that it is the richer Commonwealth countries that are currently underachieving their fair share of the global effort while their poorer allies are far ahead. The report Climate inequality in the Commonwealth shows that the UK, Canada and Australia are lagging behind while the likes of Kenya, Zambia and Bangladesh are in credit.
“The UK is waking up to this reality and announced it would seek advice on a net zero emissions target later this year. But other countries like Australia have shamefully hampered progress. They need to get in line or get out of the way.
“If these rich countries really do care about the ‘family of nations’ they should start by stepping up their game and showing climate leadership in 2018.”