Environment

Caribbean expectations from COP 19

Wednesday, November 20, 2013    

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BY the time the 19th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 19) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 9th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol end in Warsaw Friday, the Caribbean would have benefited from a detailed outline of how developed countries — the world's worst offenders in terms of greenhouse gas emissions — will honour the US$100 billion a year by 2020 they pledged at the 2009 UN summit in Copenhagen.

This, as per projections by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre headquartered in Belize.

"Currently, there's no specific date for donor pledges to begin, but developing countries have already contributed a majority of emissions reductions even without promised support from developed countries," the 5Cs told the Jamaica Observer.

"A ministerial high level segment will address issues on long-term financing for developing countries. A pathway detailing how donor countries will honour the US$100 billion a year by 2020 pledge made at the 2009 , accompanied by interim targets and a private sector engagement plan would benefit the region," it said.

In addition to that, the 5Cs said, are an anticipated operationalisation of REDD+ to target increased deforestation, a raising of mitigation ambitions — more specifically, cutting emissions substantially to limit global warming to 2°C — the establishment of a loss and damage mechanism that would allow for compensation to countries that have suffered and will continue to suffer from climate change, and of course, the drafting of a new climate change agreement as a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

The Caribbean, and other developing countries, will be pushing for these objectives during this the second and final week of the negotiations.

During the first week, Hugh Sealy, the Barbadian vice-chair of the executive board of the UNFCCC's Clean Development Mechanism, who also represents the Republic of Nauru at the talks, told the Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC), that the Alliance of Small-Island States (OASIS), of which the Caribbean is a member, has the support of the United States and the European Union as they try "to bring a sense of urgency to this conference that we have to do things now; not wait until 2020".

He was referring to the efforts to get developed countries to commit to scaling up to US$100 billion annually by 2020, the amount that rich countries would contribute to mitigate against the devastating impact of climate change on the least developed nations, as manifested by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines two weeks ago and Hurricane Sandy in the Caribbean and the United States last year.

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