Climate Change ‘On The ???Mind??? Of CARICOM

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The Caribbean Community has been working assiduously to ensure that when the world???s leaders gather in Paris next week for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, they can all agree to take the necessary measures to combat the causes and consequences of climate change.

This assurance has come from Chairman of CARICOM, Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, who will join several dignitaries for the conference, which will begin on Monday, November 30.

Mr. Stuart contended that the agreement which emerges from Paris must do several critical things. ???First, all countries must agree to take individual and collective action to curb greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the average temperature increase to 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Any temperature rise above this will endanger the survival of the world???s most vulnerable countries, including those of our Caribbean.

???Second, all countries should commit to cooperation, through regular reporting, verification and updating on mitigation and should provide support to the particularly vulnerable Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and least developed countries,??? he said.

He added that the Caribbean would want to see strengthened support and more financial resources to mitigate climate change and to help countries as they adapt to it. He noted that CARICOM was of the view that the issue of loss and damage should be addressed separately from adaptation in the new agreement.

???We will advocate strongly for special consideration to be given to the unique circumstances of SIDS, and reaffirm the need for Caribbean countries to receive improved and prioritised access to public, grant-based financial support to address climate change,??? Mr. Stuart promised.

He stressed that Caribbean countries had exhibited leadership in developing a common framework to support the transformation of their energy systems and were adopting ambitious national strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

???We are now looking to the international community, with the developed countries taking the lead, to work with urgency and purpose to achieve an ambitious, comprehensive and meaningful outcome in Paris,??? he remarked.

Climate change, the Prime Minister said, threatens the existence of many small island and low-lying coastal states in the Caribbean and around the world. He pointed out that it had already caused extreme weather events, coastal erosion and changes in weather patterns that have had tragic consequences in the region and beyond.

sharon.austingill-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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