Climate change on the agenda for Commonwealth Parliamentarians from CPA Small Branches at 28th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in Australia 

Commonwealth Parliamentarians from across the CPA Australia and Pacific Regions are focusing on the impact of climate change at the 28th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF28) in Australia held from 13 to 16 January 2020. The issue of climate change in the region has been brought into sharp focus by the tragic Australian bushfires in the last few months and delegates will also debate the role of climate change in natural disasters.

The Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Hon. Tony Smith, MP opened the 28th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum in the Parliament of Australia’s Great Hall and welcomed over 350 delegates from 30 countries to discuss a wide range of subjects such as security, economics and trade, and regional cooperation. Members will also discuss gender representation and equality. The Australian Speaker said: “Since the first APPF in 1993, the forum has been an incredible opportunity for Parliamentarians to share experiences with colleagues from around the world. I’m especially pleased that at this year's forum, we are welcoming delegates from countries in the Pacific Island Forum. Events such as APPF28 form part of the Australian Parliament’s International Programme, which helps to promote understanding, sharing of knowledge and democratic development with our fellow Parliaments around the world.”

Commonwealth delegates attending the APPF28 represented the following CPA Branches: Australia; Fiji; New Zealand; Malaysia; Singapore and Canada; with the following CPA Small Branches attending the forum as observers: Cook Islands; Kiribati; Nauru; Samoa; Solomon Islands; Tonga; Niue and Tuvalu. The following non-Commonwealth countries also attended the APPF28: Federated States of Micronesia; Cambodia; Indonesia; Laos; Philippines; Vietnam; Thailand; China; Japan; Korea; Mongolia; Russia; Chile; Mexico

The issue of climate change in the region is particularly relevant to the CPA’s Small Branches and the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) will soon be launching a new toolkit on climate change for Commonwealth Parliamentarians from CPA Small Branches. This toolkit has produced by the CPA Headquarters Secretariat, to inform Parliamentarians from small states on how they can also be effective actors in the climate change agenda. The toolkit will provide information on the latest scientific evidence, the various tools available to further progress on climate change, as well as the range of support available to small states, this makes the toolkit a comprehensive yet accessible guide for effective climate change action at the national and international level.

For the Commonwealth, small states and territories have and will be disproportionately affected by climate change. With Small Island Developing States (SIDs) combined population of over 65 million, they contribute to less than 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Despite this, they have been at the forefront of the climate change agenda, from influencing international negotiations to setting an example on how climate-friendly national policies can be successful implemented.

Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum: The first meeting of the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum was held in Singapore in August 1991 with the inaugural forum held in January 1993 in Tokyo, Japan. For further information about the 28th Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum visit https://appf28.org/.

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Updated 14 January 2020/CPAHQ.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association connects, develops, promotes and supports Parliamentarians and their staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and the implementation of the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of around 180 Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 
 
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