The Parliamentarian 2021 Issue Three: Looking ahead to COP26: key challenges facing the Commonwealth

Page 8


LOOKING AHEAD TO COP26 AND THE FOCUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE IN THE COMMONWEALTH The Acting CPA Chairperson also reports on his first 'in-person' visit to a CPA Branch. Acting Chairperson of the CPA Executive Committee, Hon. Ian Liddell-Grainger, MP, Member of the Parliament of the United Kingdom

In writing my second View article for The Parliamentarian, I am greatly pleased to report that I have been able to make my first ‘in-person’ visit as Acting Chairperson. In early September 2021, I was delighted to be invited to visit the CPA Guernsey Branch in the CPA British Islands and Mediterranean Region. I participated in an excellent programme there, meeting with parliamentary leaders from the States of Deliberation (Parliament) and presenting the CPA’s work to new and returning Deputies, following their October 2020 General Election. I endeavour to follow in the late CPA Chairperson’s quest of promoting the CPA’s mission of knowledge sharing and mutual learning across our membership and I look forward to further opportunities to visit all CPA Regions when COVID restrictions permit. Whilst in Guernsey, I also had the opportunity to meet with Guernsey Finance, the international promotional agency of Guernsey’s financial services sector which has placed particular emphasis on promoting Guernsey’s green finance strategy. Securing finance for programmes that tackle climate change and champion environmental sustainability is an ongoing issue for small jurisdictions and, as a result, the topic has been embedded as a thematic priority in the CPA and our Small Branches Network. Looking to other small jurisdictions, as the crucial efforts of the CPA Small Branches network has illustrated, small island developing states are on the front line of this crisis and we must continue to raise the profile of climate change and biodiversity within and outside of the CPA. I commend the work of the Acting CPA Small Branches Chairperson, Joy Burch, Speaker of the Australian Capital Territory Legislature, and the CPA Small Branches Steering Committee on driving forward the network’s focus in this critical area. This is, of course, particularly pertinent in relation to the climate change theme of this issue of The Parliamentarian, as we look forward towards COP26 which is taking place later this year in Glasgow, United Kingdom. With climate change dubbed “the defining issue of our time” by the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, the twenty-sixth Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) 222 | The Parliamentarian | 2021: Issue Three | 100 years of publishing

presents a huge opportunity for us to convene and progress our action in tackling “the biggest threat to security that modern humans have ever faced”. We must accept that climate change has wide, long-lasting implications, not only for the environment, but on factors such as migration, health and security and that it is our role as legislators to take action and seek to address this. The international community has made bold commitments to tackle climate change, and treaties and pledges such as the UN’s Agenda 2030 and The Paris Agreement are important tools for Parliamentarians in their work on sustainable development. It is my hope that COP26 will be another step forward in this and I look forward to participating both in a CPA capacity and in my various commitments as a UK Parliamentarian. Turning to CPA governance, I greatly look forward to chairing and participating in the CPA Executive Committee Meeting taking place 27-30 September 2021 which, given the circumstances many of our Regional Representatives are operating under, will again be held remotely. In undertaking the Acting Chairperson position in such sad and sudden circumstances, this left the CPA Executive Committee with a vacancy for Acting CPA ViceChairperson. Provided for in the CPA Constitution, the CPA Secretary-General was able to undertake an election for the position outside of the parameters of an Executive Committee Meeting. I would like to offer my congratulations to Hon. Osei Kyei Mensah Bonsu MP from Ghana on his election to the role of Acting Vice-Chairperson and thank the runner-up, New Zealand’s Hon. Gerry Brownlee MP, for his standing. Adapting our processes and activities, both in our Parliaments and our Secretariat, to the ‘new normal’ has been a necessity the past year and a half. Our chosen focus for International Day of Democracy (IDD) 2021 has mirrored this. The CPA’s ‘Democracy Looks Different’ campaign has spotlighted the plethora of ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way democracies operate across our membership. Whether it be the changes in the conduct of ‘COVIDsafe’ elections or the introduction of virtual and hybrid sittings, our Commonwealth Parliaments have undertaken many changes to

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.