Caribbean not happy with draft agreement at COP21

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CARICOM negotiators review the draft agreement at COP21.

PARIS, France, Thursday, December 10, 2015 – As negotiators review a preliminary draft agreement issued yesterday at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21), Caribbean Community (CARICOM) ministers and heads of delegations are pressing for outstanding concerns to be adequately represented in the final outcome agreement due tomorrow.

At the top of the list is the long-term temperature rise issue, with CARICOM stressing that the goal should be to hold temperature rises to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius and insisting that some of the alternatives proposed in the draft text were not acceptable. The region rejected, in particular, the option to hold temperature increases at two degrees Celsius, stating that it has been established by the Structured Expert Dialogue that figure is too high.

The region also noted the lack of agreement on recognition of the special circumstances of Small Island and low-lying Developing States (SIDS). The team has said that the special circumstances are real, have been recognized by the international community and world leaders, and are non-negotiable.

The CARICOM team also wants the text to recognize and respond to the fact that the SIDS, which bear the brunt of the adverse effects of climate change, have specific challenges with accessing finance especially for climate change adaptation and technology, given their capacity and scale of needs.

The team is also pressing for agreement on outstanding differences on the loss and damage effects of climate change, so that it can be a major feature of the outcome document. The negotiators were also concerned that the provisions in the text for compliance were very weak.

However, the CARICOM team has welcomed the provision in the text for five-year global cycles, and is recommending that this is linked to the renewal of mitigation commitments.

Meantime, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5C’s) has committed itself to securing a fair share of climate adaptation funds for the Region.

Director Dr. Ken Leslie gave the commitment at COP21, where enhanced financing is a major area of interest for CARICOM.

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