Why ‘Malawi at COP26’ matters

We worked to amplify Malawi’s voice and visibility at COP26 and, in so doing, raised awareness of Scotland’s links with Malawi, supported our Members’ work, and supported climate justice in Malawi.

In November 2021 Glasgow hosted COP(Conference of Parties)26, the 26th annual global climate change summit. This was one of the largest international gatherings hosted in the UK to date. There were hundreds of different fringe events and activities beyond the formal state-led discussions, with an estimated 25,000 coming to Glasgow. It was a busy and noisy time, and we worked to ensure Malawi’s voice was heard.

We helped amplify those representing Malawi at COP26 and created a strong dialogue around the climate issues facing our two nations in the media.

Malawi COP26v4print 2
President’s call to work together

“...ignite a movement of climate change activists".

On the 3rd October 2020 the new President of Malawi opened our AGM. He gave three challenges to Scotland, the third focused on working together to fight the climate crisis, including at COP26, to: “ignite a movement of climate change activists".

He went on to say "The time has come to escalate the sense of urgency among our people regarding the threats to our indispensable relationship with nature".

It is in response to the President’s call for climate cooperation that we look to support Malawi at COP26.

Malawi is under-represented at COPs

Malawi has been under-represented at all recent COPs and we’re keen to ensure this doesn’t happen again in Glasgow at COP26.

To understand why the system is stacked against countries like Malawi in major global negotiations, we recommend Isabelle Raynor’s excellent 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 support and amplify Malawi at COP26.

For a quick overview of this research, read this one-page summary for the SMP or watch this short video of Isabelle presenting at one of our ‘Malawi at COP26’ coordination meetings.

Malawi is already suffering

Malawi is already suffering in the climate crisis

Malawi is one of the countries least responsible for causing the climate crisis but one of those already suffering the most. With the overwhelming majority of Malawi’s £19m population subsistence farmers, growing just enough for their families to survive each year, and over half living on less than £1 a day, there is huge climate vulnerability.

We recommend the videos by two of our members, Climate Challenge Programme Malawi and Thrive Scotland below, which give a glimpse of the impact climate change is already having in Malawi and why it is so important Malawi is heard at COP26.

Climate Challenge Programme Malawi

Thrive Scotland