Regional stakeholders discuss outcome of COP27
Vanessa Nakate (left), of Uganda participates in a Fridays for Future protest at the COP27 UN Climate Summit while holding a sign that says "pay for loss and damage", Friday, November11, 2022, in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. (Photo: AP)

BELMOPAN, Belize (CMC) – The Belize-based Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has welcomed the decision to establish a new fund for loss and damage as a result of climate change that had been adopted at the recently concluded United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 27) held in Egypt.

The CCCCC board of directors, at its annual meeting last weekend, described the initiative as "a significant waypoint" noting, however, that "while the establishment of the fund is a major victory for small island developing states (SIDS), the COP27 failure to deliver any major breakthroughs on mitigation ambition leaves the Paris Agreement's 1.5°C goal on life support".

The CCCC, which is an inter-governmental Caribbean Community (Caricom) institution mandated by regional leaders to coordinate the region's response to climate change, recalled that prior to the Egypt conference the Council for Trade and Economic Development had outlined a number of initiatives the Caribbean wanted pursued.

These included increased climate ambition to keep the 1.5°C goal alive; the urgent implementation of climate action and support to avoid further imperilling the lives and livelihoods of the Caribbean people; and the establishment at COP27 of a new fund to support SIDS in addressing loss and damage.

A statement issued following the CCCCC meeting said that the board expressed disappointment that "once again developed countries failed to fulfil their US$100-billion per year climate finance goal and of the finance delivered over the period 2016-2020, SIDS received only an estimated US$1.5 billion".

The CCCCC said in that same period it noted with "dismay that some 21 SIDS reportedly paid more than US$26.6 billion to their external creditors".

The Belize-based organisation said that it further noted that the follow-up work to operationalise the COP decisions will depend on the effectiveness of processes created and will, therefore, require active regional engagement.

"In particular, it highlighted the need for the region to have representation on the transitional committee established to design the loss and damage fund that will meet the needs of SIDS and to also ensure the presence of regional observers to the work of the committee, where appropriate," said the CCCCC.

Additionally, the board noted that 2023 will be the final round of technical dialogues for the Global Stocktake (GST), which will conclude at COP28 in the United Arab Emirates.

The CCCCC said, given the region's expectations that the GST will instruct a course correction of global efforts for 1.5°C and provide tangible technical solutions to that end, it considered the importance of contributing Caribbean-specific solutions that could form part of the GST outputs and serve as tools to unlock financing.

The CCCCC said it also considered that in the further elaboration of elements for the new collective quantified goal on climate finance, the region would be best placed to influence the quantitative and qualitative elements of that goal by supporting Caricom with the identification and articulation of needs and priorities.

The statement said the CCCCC "underscored the importance of the region's continued climate leadership and advocacy for progress on all fronts lest we lose the narrowing window of opportunity to limit global warming to 1.5°C and suffer even greater loss and damage".

It also emphasised the region's potential to maximise opportunities inside and outside of the climate change process and to improve access to finance at scale, on grant or concessional terms, with a view to bridging implementation gaps and achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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