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CARICOM Declaration For Climate Action

Posted in: Statements from CARICOM Meetings by admin | 05 June 2015 | 2760

    We, the Heads of State and Government of CARICOM Member States, at our Thirty-Sixth Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Barbados , from 2-4 July, 2015,

    Recognizing that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet and thus requires to be urgently addressed by all Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (the Convention);

    Acknowledging that the global nature of climate change calls for the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response, with a view to urgently accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions;

    Reaffirming that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) remain a special case considering their unique and particular vulnerability to the adverse impacts of climate change, as acknowledged in the Convention and by the international community in multiple international fora since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1992;

    Further recognising that extreme weather and slow onset events and their adverse impacts including sea-level rise, coastal erosion,  coral bleaching, flooding, ocean acidification, sea temperature rise, mangrove degradation, inundation and salinisation of coastal agricultural soils and residential areas, related to climate change, are fundamental threats to the sustainable development of low-lying Caribbean countries and island territories;

    Noting that already with global warming of less than one degree Celsius, SIDS including Caribbean countries, as well as Guyana and Suriname, are experiencing more intense storms, droughts, extreme weather events, accelerating sea-level rise and other life-threatening impacts;

    Concerned about the inadequate response of the international community to the threats posed by the impacts of climate change, including the inadequacy of financial resources available to support the actions required to reduce the impacts of climate change in the Caribbean;

    Emphasizing that a global goal of limiting average temperature increase to below 2 degrees Celsius  above pre-industrial levels is inadequate for protecting critical ecosystems in SIDS from the adverse impacts of climate change and that the average temperature increase  should be limited to well below 1.5 degrees;
    Noting that some ecosystems in the Caribbean are already experiencing the negative effects of climate change and in some cases are approaching the limits of their adaptive capacities;

    Reiterating the urgent need to close the gap between the mitigation pledges and the level of effort required to hold the increase in global average temperature to below 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels;

    Emphasizing that the negotiations under the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP), which culminate in Paris, France in December 2015, are critical to advancing efforts to close the pre-2020 mitigation ambition gap and to securing a new universal agreement that focuses the efforts of all parties towards stronger climate action;

    Further noting that Caribbean countries have exhibited leadership, including through agreement on a common framework to support the transformation of their energy systems, and are adopting ambitious national strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions;

    Recalling that as low-lying and small island countries recognized by the Convention as being particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, Caribbean countries have continued to emphasize, together with other SIDS, the need for ambitious and urgent action to address climate change,

    Now therefore, we:

    • Urge all Parties to the Convention, with developed countries taking the lead, to work with urgency and purpose to achieve an ambitious, comprehensive and meaningful outcome in December 2015 at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP -21) in Paris;
    • Stress that the Convention is, and should remain, the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change and reaffirm the importance of continuing to apply the principles of the Convention;
    • Call for the adoption of a new internationally legally binding agreement under the Convention that is in the form of a protocol and is applicable to all Parties at COP-21 in Paris (the 2015 Agreement);
    • Call for the 2015 Agreement to include inter alia:
    • provisions to address the specific needs and special circumstances of SIDS;
    • enhanced provisions for supporting the adaptation needs of vulnerable developing countries, including provision of adequate, predictable, new and additional finance, technology and capacity building support, and strengthening of the institutional arrangements;
    • loss and damage as a central and distinct element of the agreement, that should be treated separately from adaptation;
    • the Technology Mechanism and the Warsaw REDD+ Framework;
    • commitment by developed country parties to take the lead in scaling-up the provision of adequate, predictable, new and additional financial resources, and opportunities for other Parties willing to do so, to also contribute to scaling up climate finance;
    • provision of support for capacity building and technology development and transfer to SIDS;
    • an explicit objective of limiting long-term the global average temperature increase to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, supported by aggregate mitigation commitments that represent a feasible pathway to achieving that goal;
    • an explicit provision that parties fulfil and continuously enhance their mitigation commitments over time;
    • five (5) year mitigation commitment cycles, with robust ex ante and ex post review and upward adjustment processes;
    • provisions for measuring, reporting and verification of performance on commitments; and
    • a compliance regime.



    Supporting Measures Finance

    • Reaffirm the need for Caribbean countries to receive improved and prioritised access to public, grant-based financial support to address climate change;
    • Emphasize that the recently capitalized Green Climate Fund (GCF) should play a critical role in facilitating the Caribbean countries access to financing to promote the paradigm shift towards low-carbon and climate resilient development pathways;
    • Further emphasize the importance of the GCF readiness programmes receiving adequate and continuous resources in order for Caribbean countries to receive readiness support for (i) strengthening arrangements for engaging the GCF, including for direct         access (ii) receiving guidance on the accreditation of implementing entities, (iii) developing strategic frameworks for engagement with the Fund, (iv) developing initial pipelines of programme and project proposals aligned with the objectives and investment criteria of the Fund and national priorities, and  (v) facilitating the access to knowledge products and distilling lessons from readiness programme experience;
    • Urge Parties that have made pledges towards the initial capitalization of the GCF to  accelerate the signing of contribution agreements within one year from the time at  which they are made;
    • Further urge developed country parties to scale up their contributions in line with    their  pledge for US$100 billion per year by 2020;
    • Stress the importance for the GCF to commence the critical phase of considering funding proposals with a view to submit to the Fund’s Board for approval some initial projects, including from Caribbean SIDS, ahead of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris;
    • Call on the GCF Private Sector Facility to give particular consideration to the small to medium enterprises in SIDS, including in the highly vulnerable tourism and agriculture industries given their importance to many Caribbean economies;

    Loss and Damage

    • Urge the Executive Committee of the Warsaw International Mechanism on Loss and Damage to work closely with the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility Segregated Portfolio Company (CCRIF SPC) and other insurance mechanisms and representatives of the hazard risk modelling community to assist in the design, development and implementation of innovative approaches to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change tailored to the needs of SIDS , to include the agriculture sector; 
    • Further propose the establishment of a process to develop appropriate international rules and procedures that provide redress for economic and non-economic losses emanating from irreversible and permanent damage resulting from human-induced climate change on land and sea resources and assets, and losses directly and indirectly associated with adverse impacts of human-induced climate change, including extreme events and slow onset events

    • International Co-operation
    • Urge the international community to support the Caribbean in its ongoing efforts to contribute to the global effort to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and adapt to the impacts of climate change;
    • Further urge the international community to ensure that the outcome of COP 21 results in an ambitious international agreement that limits global warming to as far below 1.5°C as possible, in order to ensure the survival of the Caribbean States and territories.

    CONTACT: communications@caricom.org