Parliamentarians to examine how legislators can mitigate against the impact of climate change on the smallest jurisdictions in the Commonwealth 

Parliamentarians from smallest parliamentary jurisdictions in the Commonwealth will come together at the United Nations Environment Programme Headquarters in Kenya to examine how they can work together to mitigate against the impacts of climate change. Climate change is of great concern to the Commonwealth, especially small and developing states which are often the least polluters but the first casualties of its effects. The 2015 Paris Agreement brought all nations together to undertake ambitious efforts to combat climate change providing new and unprecedented opportunities in the global climate effort. At the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government Meetings (CHOGM) in Malta and in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth leaders committed themselves to tackling climate change and addressing the unique challenges of small states to ensure their full participation in and contribution to a more prosperous future. 

Against this background, the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will come together in Kenya from 10 to 13 October 2018 for the CPA Small Branches Climate Change Workshop. The aim of the workshop is to assist the CPA’s Small Branches to tackle their specific challenges in overseeing the implementation of the 2015 Paris Agreement and in the development of appropriate national legislation dealing with the prevention and impacts of climate change.

Climate change legislation is a vast field and its national priorities will take on different shapes and form depending on the size, the level of development, industrialization and geographic location of the relevant jurisdiction. Since it would not be possible to cover the topic in depth for all CPA Branches in one meeting, this CPA workshop in Kenya will focus on the particular needs of CPA Small Branches and their challenges when overseeing the domestication of international legal obligations on climate change and the implementation of climate change legislation. A CPA Small Branch is defined by the size of its population, which is set at under 500,000 people to qualify as a Small Branch.

The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Small Branches Chairperson, Hon. Angelo Farrugia, MP, Speaker of the Parliament of Malta, will attend the workshop and said: “Climate change is considered the greatest existential threat facing our planet today. It is non-discriminating in its reach and impacts every nation in the world. However, given that 31 of the 53 countries of the Commonwealth are deemed small states, which include many island states too, the impact of climate change is acutely felt within the Commonwealth group of nations.  

It is therefore imperative that the Commonwealth and the CPA remains at the forefront of global leadership to address climate change. Building capacity to counter the threat of climate change forms a key strategic pillar of the CPA Small Branches Strategic Plan, and alongside our international partners such as UNEP, we shall be working with our small Parliaments to strengthen their resilience to the threat of climate change. By equipping CPA Small Branches Parliamentarians with the relevant knowledge, this workshop will catalyse the mainstreaming of legal expertise into the international negotiation process and strengthen knowledge on climate change policy for Members of Commonwealth Legislatures.”


For more information about the United Nations Environment Programme please click here.

For more information about the CPA Small Branches network please click here.

Updated 9th October 2018.

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. 
For further information about the CPA, please contact:

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Headquarters Secretariat,  
Richmond House,
Houses of Parliament,
London SW1A 0AA,
United Kingdom

T: +44 (0)20 7799 1460
For media enquiries, please contact