Barbados today secured the assent of the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States (OAS), on the island’s proposal for new and critical political mandates that would escalate the level of climate ambition in the Americas in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The proposals, in the form of a resolution introduced by Barbados’ Permanent Mission to the OAS in Washington D.C., will be formally endorsed by the OAS General Assembly during its sessions on October 20-21, 2020.
The resolution stresses that Latin America and the Caribbean cannot contemplate a durable recovery from COVID-19 while a climate crisis looms unabated.
The mandates that it introduces will now bring the weight of the OAS to bear on the international community, donors and International Financial Institutions to advocate for new and accelerated financing, technology transfer and policy support for countries in the Americas to respond to both crises.
Countries of the Americas also joined around Barbados’ call for them to continue their own climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts, and to prioritise their transition to low-carbon development, in line with the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The resolution echoes Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley’s calls to the international community, and within financing for development fora, in which she warned that the pandemic should not make the world lose sight of the existential threat of climate change.
During four rounds of negotiations led by Barbados, the resolution was joined by an overwhelming majority of OAS Member States as co-sponsors, including all 13 other CARICOM Member States, as well as Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, The Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama and Nicaragua.
This resolution now becomes the most co-sponsored mandate of the upcoming session of the Organization’s General Assembly, which Barbados views as an unequivocal reassertion of the region’s position on the urgent threat of climate change.