Cayman Islands MLA Kenneth Bryan called on the Commonwealth Heads of Government last week to support the creation of a council to closely monitor the impacts of climate change on member states.
The responsibilities of the proposed council, as outlined in a letter from Mr. Bryan, would be to monitor and track natural disasters and natural catastrophic events connected to or caused by global warming. The document went on to say, “The creation of such a council will raise the standard of awareness and assist with the preparedness of, and avoidance of natural disasters affecting commonwealth member states.”
Mr. Bryan, along with Commonwealth Parliamentary Association Youth Delegate Fabian Favourite Frizell, got support from 22 of the 25 countries that attended the CPA U.K. Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum in London. These supporters signed a promissory note to be presented to the Commonwealth leaders ahead of their upcoming Heads of Government meeting in April.
Ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting, this forum comes at an important time for Commonwealth parliamentarians, as the key theme and focus of the 2018 meeting will be about moving “Towards a Common Future.” The Commonwealth Parliamentarians’ Forum engaged parliamentarians in the summit agenda and created opportunities for in-depth, cross-Commonwealth discussion on key issues.
“Climate change and its effect are real. In order for us to limit the negative impact, we, the Commonwealth states, need to be ahead of the game in respect of information surrounding climate change. I believe this council can do just that,” Mr. Bryan said.
The leader of the Opposition and the U.K. Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn MP, was asked at the forum if he supported the formation of the council. His response outlined that the ability for the Royal Navy to help in the Mediterranean and the Caribbean during a disaster was very valuable, and emphasizing the importance of the Navy being equipped with appropriate vessels and aircraft that are suited for operating in disaster-relief operations. Mr. Corbyn went on to say that “I believe the idea of council of the Commonwealth promoted by yourselves that looks at promoting the climate change issue would be a great initiative.”
Countries who signed the promissory note that was moved and seconded by Mr. Bryan included St. Lucia, Jamaica, Kenya, the U.K., Nigeria, the Cayman Islands, New Zealand and Canada.