The 26th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) yearly Conference of the Parties (COP26) is happening in Glasgow, Scotland between November 1-12, 2021. As the summit draws closer, several challenges have been identified as major talking points for the two weeks of negotiations. These include accessibility, financing for sustainability and mitigation programmes, as well as climate action. The latter has been especially on display ahead of the global conference, as more nations commit to net-zero targets set to be achieved within the next three decades.
Race to Zero
To accelerate climate action, the UN High Level Climate Champions have convened a small group of global leaders with a range of expertise and knowledge across regions and sectors to support the Race to Zero and Race to Resilience. As part of this programme, Caribbean Climate‐Smart Accelerator (CCSA) CEO Racquel Moses was approached to join an esteemed team of Global Ambassadors and readily accepted.
“It is an honour to have been selected as an Ambassador for the UNFCCC Race to Zero and Race to Resilience programme,” said Ms Moses of her recent appointment, “I was already set to travel to Glasgow to take part in COP26 and represent the interests of the Caribbean and other developing nations, and this has bolstered my determination to bring forth the challenges we are facing.”
The Global Ambassadors will help the Champions accelerate the implementation of zero carbon targets and build resilience in urban, rural and coastal areas. Each Ambassador has been carefully selected as an individual deeply committed to transformative change and addressing the climate crisis. They have been appointed to help amplify the campaigns, anchor their narratives locally and accelerate action across mitigation and adaptation.
Other Global Ambassadors include:
- Michael Bloomberg, U.N. Secretary-General Special Envoy for Climate Ambition and Solutions, Founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th Mayor of New York City;
- Dr. Susan Chomba, who leads WRI’s work on forests, food systems, and people, which includes forest landscape restoration, sustainable agriculture/food systems and thriving rural livelihoods in Africa; and
- Prof. Saleem Huq, an expert in adaptation to climate change in the most vulnerable developing countries and has been a lead author of the third, fourth and fifth assessment reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Ms. Moses, a Trinidadian national, is the only ambassador from a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) that was named to the programme. You can find out more about this initiative and see all the global ambassadors here.
The CCSA is a coalition of countries collaborating on climate action and was featured as the first high-level commitment coming out of French President Emmanuel Macron’s One Planet Summit. The Accelerator was created via a partnership between Prime Ministers Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, Keith Mitchell of Grenada, Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia, and Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson, who all shared a far-reaching vision for the Caribbean to become the world’s first climate-smart zone. Keen on promoting opportunities sustainability projects for the Caribbean and unlocking the funding needed to make the region a global leader in climate solutions, Ms. Moses will be engaging with decision-makers in Glasgow throughout the two-week summit.
“Financing the transition towards a clean future has proven to be difficult despite the assurances laid out in the Paris Agreement and prior mechanisms. This has led SIDS and developing nations in the Caribbean and worldwide to be left behind. With certain island nations unable to send delegations due to COVID as well as the accessibility issues surrounding the conference’s location, it is more important than ever to have island communities represented in Glasgow.”
Ms. Moses continues, “Islands need a seat at the table when discussing sustainable development and economic development. I intend to make our collective voices heard.” In collaboration with Island Innovation, the CCSA will be amplifying island voices at COP26 in Glasgow and actively working towards highlighting the challenges faced, and solutions created by island communities worldwide. More information can be found at the Island Space @COP26 which is being held in partnership with the CCSA.
Island Innovation is a social enterprise and digital media company at the intersection of sustainable development and communications, offering specialised services across various sectors. We bring together the private sector, government, utilities, NGOs and universities to advance innovation for sustainability and prosperity in islands worldwide.