The climate crisis affects every member of the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth Secretariat helps member states tackle climate change and adapt to its worst impacts.
Climate change negatively affects the development of small and other vulnerable countries across the Commonwealth. Many Commonwealth countries are already facing increased temperature, sea level rise, storm surges, drought, floods, and hurricanes. The Commonwealth supports small and other vulnerable states by amplifying their calls for greater climate action.
We have been pushing for greater climate action since 1989, when Commonwealth leaders committed to protecting the environment in the Langkawi Declaration. This was one of the world’s first collective statements to name greenhouse gas emissions as one of the leading problems facing the planet.
The Climate Change Programme of the Commonwealth Secretariat focuses on strengthening the resilience of Commonwealth countries to the negative impacts of climate change. It provides member countries with measures and support for mitigating and adapting to a changing climate.
The Programme facilitates the human and institutional capacity development of member countries to access public and private climate funding to meet their Paris Agreement commitments, including the implementation of their Nationally Determined Contributions.
The Commonwealth Climate Change Programme advocates for international policies, mechanisms and rules to be more responsive to the development needs of Small Islands Developing States (SIDs) and other vulnerable countries.
The Programme's support is delivered through various mechanisms and partnerships including:
This flagship initiative of the Climate Change Programme helps small and other vulnerable states access the finance they need to adapt to or prepare for the impacts of climate change, deploying climate finance experts in government departments to help with grant applications, strengthen climate change policy and build capacity.
CommonSensing is an innovative project based on a partnership between Fiji, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu, and a consortium of international partners working together to support and build climate resilience and enhance decision-making, using satellite remote sensing technology.
The Commonwealth Secretariat is the thematic lead on climate finance and is providing technical assistance to the three countries in utilising the geospatial based CommonSensing Platform for enhanced access to climate finance.
The Commonwealth Secretariat is working in collaboration with the NDC Partnership to deliver the Climate Action Enhancement Package (CAEP). Under the CAEP initiative, the Commonwealth Secretariat is supporting four member countries - Belize, Eswatini, Jamaica and Zambia - through in-country technical expertise, capacity building and targeted support, to fast-track the implementation of each country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
In Jamaica and Eswatini, the Commonwealth Secretariat is creating a framework to review how climate-related spending is included into the national budgeting process. The findings will help the respective governments with evidence-based decision-making on budgeting for climate action. While in Belize and Zambia, the Commonwealth Secretariat is developing a National Climate Finance Strategy and preparing proposals for climate finance resource mobilisation.
The online Commonwealth Disaster Risk Finance Portal helps member countries easily find the right type of financial support to prepare for, respond to and recover from natural disasters. Information on international funding earmarked for catastrophes is compiled, streamlined and made easy to navigate.
For governments, the tool will simplify the process of identifying the financing best-suited to their needs, and connect them with the relevant contacts to access the funds more efficiently. The portal will not only serve as a database of valuable information, but also help build the capacity of governments to seek and secure disaster risk finance.
For more information please contact:
Unnikrishnan Nair, Head of Climate Change Section
Uzoamaka Nwamarah, Adviser Climate Change Section
The Commonwealth Secretariat is calling on member countries to consider the impact of agriculture, forestry and land use on climate change as they update their climate targets.
Four new Commonwealth National Climate Finance Advisers get to work in the Pacific supporting climate resilience in Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
The Secretary-General joined climate finance advisers and technical experts from the Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub in a virtual meeting to mark the success of recent applications in Tonga and Antigua and Barbuda.
The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub has supported Mauritius to secure a €600,000 grant to help smallholder farmers adapt to the changing climate in Mauritius.
The Commonwealth has signed a new agreement with NDC Partnership to support Zambia and Belize with their climate action plans.
The Commonwealth Climate Finance Access Hub has helped Tonga secure a grant of over $1.6 million USD from the Green Climate Fund to help the country adapt to climate change.