CDB supports Regional priorities at UNFCCC COP21

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’ Twenty-First Conference of Parties (UNFCCC COP21) will be held in Paris from November 30 – December 11. This conference aims to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate to keep global warming below 2°C. COP 21 is critical as it aims to deliver a new agreement to supersede the Kyoto Protocol which expires in 2020. For the Caribbean, it is critical that COP 21 delivers a legally binding agreement-such as a protocol, which should contain very specific provisions and should be applicable to all Parties. The specific provisions which the Caribbean Region seeks at COP 21 will have positive impacts on the development trajectory of the Region and are in-keeping with the regional priorities included in the CARICOM declaration issued by Heads of Government in July 2015. The Caribbean is therefore seeking from COP21;

  1. A long term temperature goal of below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
  2. An international mechanism for Loss and Damage included as an explicit mechanism which is separate from adaptation. This is because it is now accepted by the international scientific community, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that we cannot adapt to all of the impacts of climate change. It is not possible adapt to ocean acidification after the fish and the reefs have been destroyed. It is not possible to adapt to sea level rise which inundates our beaches and destroys our tourism industries. It is important therefore that the new agreement makes provision to support countries that find themselves in these situations of permanent loss.
  3. A commitment to post-2020 financing for developing countries with US$100 billion as the floor.
  4. Explicit recognition of the Special Circumstances of SIDS.
  5. Legally binding mitigation commitments that are consistent with the 1.5°C goal. This means ensuring that Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) are ambitious enough to move beyond the 2.7°C and 3°C which the current pledges deliver.
  6. Five year commitment cycles – for mitigation commitments, to address inadequate INDC ambition.
  7. Availability of enhanced support for meeting the adaptation needs of vulnerable countries, including finance, capacity building and technology.
  8. Support for standing forests as a mitigation strategy, since the Region has significant forest resources in some of our member states, and stand ready to use them in this global effort.

In the absence of such an agreement, climate change represents an existential threat to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) which include the majority of the Caribbean Development Bank’s (CDB) Borrowing Member Countries. The CDB supports Caribbean SIDS and the rest of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States in these negotiating positions. CDB is further providing support to the Wider Caribbean Pavilion at COP 21, in collaboration with other Regional Partners including the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States and Panos Caribbean.

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