The special interests of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) must be taken fully into account as the international community works to finalise a new climate change agreement later this year in Paris.

This appeal was made recently by Prime Minister of Barbados and Chairman of CARICOM, Freundel Stuart, as he addressed a high-level meeting convened by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon.

In attendance were 30 world leaders, including the Presidents of France, Peru and Brazil; the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Chancellor of Germany.

Speaking on behalf of CARICOM, Mr. Stuart said that the new agreement must be ambitious, and hold the increase in global average temperature to below 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels by 2100. This is the level which experts agree must not be exceeded in order to avoid irreparable damage to the planet and to the world???s most vulnerable countries, among them the member states of CARICOM.

The Prime Minister encouraged leaders to engage with SIDS on practical initiatives to strengthen resilience in the face of increasingly severe climate impacts, such as the recent hurricane which devastated Dominica. He insisted that new climate-related financial resources were necessary to achieve this goal.

The UN Secretary-General welcomed the announcement made in Prime Minister Stuart???s address that Barbados will be submitting an ambitious climate change target of its own in the context of Barbados??? drive towards a green economy.

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