CARICOM to push for special consideration at climate change conference

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freundel stuart

CARICOM chairman, Barbados Prime Minister Freundel Stuart

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Friday November 27, 2015 – Chairman of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and Prime Minister of Barbados Freundel Stuart says next week’s Conference of Parties (COP21) negotiations in Paris will see the grouping pushing for special treatment for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

“We will advocate strongly for special consideration to be given to the unique circumstances of SIDS and reaffirm the need for Caribbean countries to receive improved and prioritized access to public, grant-based financial support to address climate change,” he declared.

“We cannot afford to allow the international community to squander the opportunity of the Paris Climate Change Conference.”

In a message released ahead of the negotiations which begin on November 30, Stuart detailed the effects of climate change on the region, and said a number of “critical things” must emerge from the Paris agreement.

“First, all countries must agree to take individual and collective action to curb greenhouse gas emissions in order to limit the average temperature increase to one point five (1.5) degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels. Any temperature rise above this will endanger the survival of the world’s most vulnerable countries, including those of our Caribbean,” he said.

Stuart said the region also wanted to see all countries committing to cooperation, through regular reporting, verification and updating on mitigation and should provide support to the particularly vulnerable small island developing states and least developed countries.

“Third, we want to see strengthened support and more financial resources to mitigate climate change and to help countries as they adapt to climate change Fourth, CARICOM considers that the question of loss and damage should be addressed separately from adaptation in the new agreement,” he added.

The Barbadian leader said Caribbean countries have exhibited leadership in developing a common framework to support the transformation of their energy systems, and are adopting ambitious national strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Now, he said, the region was looking to the international community, with the developed countries taking the lead, to work with urgency and purpose to achieve an ambitious, comprehensive and meaningful outcome in Paris.

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