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Former Guyana President Jagdeo to lead Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance

20 June 2013
LONDON, 20 June 2013: Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma has announced that former Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo, will lead a high-level team of experts to identify solutions for unlocking resources to enable small, poor and climate-vulnerable Commonwealth countries to combat climate change.

Mr Sharma said Mr Jagdeo will be joined by eight others to press the international community to help identify practical solutions for those countries most vulnerable to climate change.

“I am pleased to announce that His Excellency former President Bharrat Jagdeo has accepted to chair a new Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance,” Mr Sharma said.

“Together with eight others, the Group will tackle how best to access resources to support low-emission and climate-resilient development in small and climate-vulnerable states,” he added.

The Secretary-General said that the Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance, convened under his Good Offices for the Environment remit, will present their report to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Colombo, Sri Lanka in November 2013.

Speaking from Georgetown, Guyana, Mr Jagdeo said he was delighted to accept the invitation.

The former President said: “Some of the most climate-vulnerable people in the world are in our Commonwealth. Millions of people are in danger - the magnitude of the challenges they face is overwhelming and they cannot face those challenges solely from their own resources. Over the years, many pledges of assistance have been made – but we have not seen enough action. I hope that the Expert Group can identify ways, both to identify financing at a scale that matches the problem, and also to enable Commonwealth Heads of Government to take specific actions to enable financing to be deployed in a way that rapidly gets to the people who need it.”

Mr Sharma said that the Commonwealth Secretariat is facilitating the gathering of evidence on good practices in climate finance through its online workspace for professional communities of practice, Commonwealth Connects: www.thecommonwealth.org/climatefinancecfe.

To provide further opportunity for dialogue with the Commonwealth Expert Group on Climate Finance, there will be an official launch of the Commonwealth Network on Environment and Climate Change at Marlborough House, headquarters of the Commonwealth Secretariat, in London from 25 to 26 June 2013.