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Assembly’s Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) Branch Takes part in Climate Change Forum

Climate Change remains one of the biggest global issues facing all of us, and while governments, parliamentarians and citizens across the world agree that much more needs to be done to address this serious issue, there is still much room for discussion and debate on how it should be tackled.

In late March 2021, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association UK held a virtual Forum on Climate Change, bringing together over 260 participants from 42 parliaments to discuss the role of parliamentarians in holding governments to account, the need to set ambitious climate commitments and to comply with international agreements. The event also provided participants with an opportunity to share knowledge, discuss current initiatives in their countries and regions, to learn from renowned experts in the climate change field and to exchange insights and ideas.

Mr.  Jim Wells MLA attended the two- day forum on behalf of the Assembly’s CPA Branch and we caught up with him to get his thoughts on the event.  

“One of the great things about the CPA is the wide range and quality of seminars, forums and networking opportunities they provide for members. This event was no different. As a political representative it’s often too easy to get caught up in the local issues, including around tackling climate change, and we sometimes fail to see the bigger global picture.

“This particular event was a real eye opener and an opportunity to learn more about how smaller nation states are finding it difficult to counter the effects of climate change and will have the most to lose if we don’t work together to find viable global solutions”.

Mr Wells continued: “The CPA enlisted some of the world’s top climate change experts to discuss the recent history and current effects of climate change in different countries. The conclusions were worrying and it was a particularly sobering experience to learn of the potential negative impact of climate change on low lying nations such as Bangladesh.  

“The forum certainly provided much food for thought, particularly as we as political representatives continue to develop our own initiatives, legislation and policy around the climate change issue. I look forward to sharing the knowledge gained with other CPA Executive and Branch Members here at the Northern Ireland Assembly”. 

The CPA’s Forum on Climate Change culminated in the election of a Working Group to take forward action points from the Forum. These representatives will take part in regular events to ensure that the Commonwealth has a co-ordinated and ambitious approach, in the lead up to the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), which will take place in November 2021.

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