‘Malawi@COP26’ Zoom Meeting:

5 Nov 2020
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The full video of the meeting can be found here.

We were delighted to have a number of really excellent key speakers for this meeting, including:

- Evans Njewa – Government of Malawi, Lead COP negotiator and Chief Environmental Officer responsible for climate change

- Julius Ng'omaNational Coordinator for Civil Society Network on Climate Change 

- Maggie Ngwira, Programme Coordinator, Climate Challenge Porgramme of Malawi

- Chinsisi Kazuwa, MaSP 2050 Project

- Charlie Goodwin-Smith, Scottish Government

- Ben Wilson (pre-record), Chair of International Group, Stop Climate Chaos Scotland

- Nick Cullen, Climate Fringe

- Isabelle Rayner, Malawi at COP26 Researcher

Anticipating with great interest, COP26 being held in Glasgow next year, the Scotland Malawi Partnership (SMP) invites you to participate in the first of a series of monthly ‘Malawi@COP26’ Strategy Zoom meetings.  This will be the key platform for coordinating Scottish civic support for Malawi’s involvement in COP26, the global climate conference taking place in Glasgow in November 2021. 

We last met to discuss COP26 on the 7th February, you can read the minutes here.  At this meeting we agreed an outline ‘Malawi@COP26’ Strategy which continues to guide our work.  Since then there has been a slight hiatus while we have prioritised the coordination of Covid-19 response and in which COP26 has been pushed back from Nov 2020 to Nov 2021.

Whilst recognising that COVID restrictions persist, we are keen to reconvene virtually and establish really strong, sustained Scotland-Malawi communication channels to deliver this agreed strategy. 

There are a number of exciting updates that we can share since our last meeting:

  • We met with the Lord Provost of Glasgow shortly before lockdown and discussed COP26.  The Lord Provost, as Hon Co-President of the Scotland Malawi Partnership, was enthusiastic about the idea of some kind of significant event during COP26, in the Glasgow City Chambers, to welcome, engage and amplify the Malawian delegation and celebrate the many Malawi-Scotland projects working on climate justice and related themes.
  • We were  really interested to read Isabelle Raynor’s excellent Masters Thesis which looks back at Malawi’s experience historically at previous COPs.  We think this provides really useful analysis, to inform our thinking about how best to amplify Malawi at COP26 and we are working closely with Isabelle to build on this research.
  • The really outstanding 2050 Climate Group, which supports youth-led climate action in both countries, has had its funding extended by the Scottish Government for another year.
  • Finally, and perhaps most significantly, President Lazarus Chakwera addressed the SMP’s AGM on the 3rd October and he used his keynote speech to set out three very positive ‘challenges’ for Scotland.  The third of these was to: “ignite a movement of climate change activists amongst our peoples, to capture the imagination of Malawian youths.”  He said:

“I am aware that Scotland is preparing to host the 26th UN climate change conference in November 2021.  You can count on Malawi’s full participation … I believe the time has come to escalate the sense of urgency among our people regarding the threats to our indispensable relationship with nature. For that reason, I am eager to see this partnership between us become an example to the world of two nations approaching climate change with the sense of urgency, and in the spirit of collaboration, commensurate with the existential threat this truly is.”

We are keen to step-up to the challenge set by President Lazarus Chakwera and set up strong digital channels for regular, sustained communications between Scotland and Malawi to help us make this challenge a reality and to ensure Malawi gets the maximum possible benefit from COP26.