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UK’s credibility as climate change leader examined

17 June 2021

The House of Commons International Development Committee is holding the first evidence session of its Climate change, development and COP26 inquiry. The main thrust of the inquiry is to examine the credibility of the UK government as a climate change leader.

Tuesday 22 June 2021 (Virtual meeting)

  • Session will be conducted with remote participation by witnesses and Committee members

At 2.30pm

  • Dr Lisa Schipper, Environmental Social Science Research Fellow, The Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford
  • Dr Alessandra Sgobbi, Co-Chair of the Adaptation Committee & Head of Sector at the Centre of Thematic Expertise for Connectivity, Agriculture, Environment and Regional Development, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations, European Commission

At 3.10pm

  • Cecília da Silva Bernardo, Representative of the Least Developed Countries Group & Director for Cooperation at the Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Environment of the Republic of Angola
  • H.E. Ms Diann Black-Layne, Ambassador for Climate Change – Antigua and Barbuda and Lead Negotiator on Climate Change for the Alliance of Small Island States

At 3.50pm

  • Julius Ng’oma, National Coordinator, Civil Society Network on Climate Change
  • Suranjana Gupta, Special Advisor on Community Resilience, Huairou Commission (a women-led grassroots social movement)

Purpose of the Session

The UK is this year assuming the rotating Presidency of the main United Nations body concerned with climate change which will hold its annual summit in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021. The summit is the 26th edition of the ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP) - that is, the countries which have signed the UN treaty on climate change - hence the meeting is known as ‘COP26’.

The Committee – a cross party group of Members of Parliament – will question witnesses who include representatives of lower-income countries (which suffer disproportionately from the impact of climate change), leaders of international civil society groups and academics specialising in the area.

Aid agencies and governments of lower-income countries stress that it is these countries which bear the brunt of climate change and don’t have sufficient funds to cope with its impacts - such as floods and droughts.

The evidence session will look at how the impacts of climate change might be addressed more effectively. One suggestion has been for richer countries to make more effort tackling the impacts on lower-income countries rather than concentrating – as richer states currently tend to – on reducing greenhouse gases. Questions around this issue may be raised at the evidence session.

Further information

Image: DFID via Flickr