Joint press conference with Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley and President-designate of COP26, Alok Sharma – July 8, 2021. (PMO)

The 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), which is slated for Glasgow later this year, will deliver for countries most vulnerable to climate change.

This assurance came today from President-designate of COP26, Alok Sharma, as he participated in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, at Ilaro Court.

Mr. Sharma, who visited Jamaica and Antigua and Barbuda earlier this week, said: “In my travels, as COP President, I have seen firsthand the…terrible damage and the impact of the climate crisis on people around the world…. During this visit, …I have heard from people who are affected directly, about the increasing frequency of extreme weather events, and the fact that they are getting more ferocious in terms of their impact.

“And that’s why I am absolutely determined that COP26 will deliver for the countries most vulnerable to climate change. I recognise the unique vulnerabilities and challenges that small island developing states face, and I will continue to advocate for their priorities. And we must seek urgent action to protect the lives and livelihoods of people.”

The President-designate said ahead of COP26, there was a need for G20 countries to follow the example shown by the small island developing states and the G7 nations and make net zero commitments and ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

Mr. Sharma commended Prime Minister Mottley and her government for the ambitious target of becoming a fossil-fuel free island by 2030.  

“The reality is that such action is absolutely vital, not only in terms of reducing the emissions, but quite frankly, in terms of the leadership it displays.

President-designate of COP26, Alok Sharma, speaking during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley, at Ilaro Court today. (C. Pitt/BGIS)

“And it challenges other countries, particularly the biggest emitters, to raise their own ambition and to help keep the goals of the Paris Agreement within reach, and keep alive the goal of limiting the average rise in global temperatures to 1.5 degrees,” he indicated.

He stated that he was totally committed to ensuring that developed countries delivered on the significant funds promised.  

He said that on the road to COP26, he hoped a delivery plan on funding would be set out, which developed nations should be held to.

COVID-19, Mr. Sharma noted, had posed the most extreme challenge to countries around the world. However, he pointed out that coming out of the pandemic, there was an opportunity for countries to reimagine their economies, like Barbados is doing, so they could build forward better.

He said small island developing states had shown “real leadership” in tackling the climate crisis, even though they had done the least to cause its effects.

COP26 will be held from October 31 to November 12, 2021, in Glasgow.

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