This week I hosted a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) – which I chair – with the President of COP26, the Rt Hon Alok Sharma MP. I want to thank the COP President for taking the time to address the group, so that Parliamentarians, interested NGOs and representatives from the SIDS could hear about progress made at COP26 and what needs to happen in the run-up to COP27.
Small islands are uniquely vulnerable to rising sea levels and more frequent extreme weather events, and lack the financial means to put in place measures to protect them from climate change. Many of them are also burdened with debt and have been hit hard by the collapse of tourism during the pandemic.
Although I have many disagreements with the Government about its climate policy here at home, I was heartened to hear from the COP President a genuine understanding of the issues facing SIDS and some detailed initiatives that could help them survive the worst impacts of climate change.
The UK will still hold the COP26 Presidency until November this year, and the COP President has offered to give a further update to the APPG in June, which is very welcome.