Commonwealth Secretary-General to meet with CARICOM leaders on climate change

Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Commonwealth Secretary-General

Embattled Commonwealth Secretary-General, Baroness Patricia Scotland, will hold discussions with Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders during their two-day inter-sessional summit that begins in Barbados on Tuesday.

The Commonwealth Secretariat and the Guyana-based CARICOM Secretariat have confirmed her attendance at the summit with the London-based Secretariat, indicating that she “will reassure Caribbean leaders that the Commonwealth will keep fighting for bold climate action on the global stage.”

“Patricia Scotland will brief Caribbean leaders on the current Commonwealth initiatives helping the region tackle the effects of climate change and external shocks such as disasters and financial crises.”

— Statement from CARICOM

“Secretary-General Patricia Scotland will highlight that despite ambitious pledges, countries are receiving limited funds to improve response to climate change. She will also focus on how the climate crisis is destabilising economic growth leading to food insecurity, stressed resources and impaired livelihoods across the Commonwealth,” the statement said.

Practical assistance to the region

It said that as of February 2019, less than a quarter of the US$26 billion deposited for climate action has been disbursed, according to Climate Funds Update.

“Patricia Scotland will brief Caribbean leaders on the current Commonwealth initiatives helping the region tackle the effects of climate change and external shocks such as disasters and financial crises,” the statement said. “During her visit, Patricia Scotland will listen to Caribbean leaders and strategise with them as to how the Commonwealth can mobilise more tailored and practical assistance to the region.

“The Commonwealth has been engaged with CARICOM from the beginning. Our partnership spans over 46 years working together on socio-economic issues and delivering initiatives to advance development in member countries,” she is quoted as saying in the statement.