OECS Media Release
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO, The OECS Commission joins CARICOM at the 22nd session of the Conference of Parties (COP22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco. Countries continue their efforts to address climate change by calling for the implementation of the landmark Paris Agreement, enhancing ambition and the provision of support that will assist Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in their adaptation and resilience building efforts.
The countries of the region call on developed country Parties to honour their pledges and provide the necessary finance to enable them to undertake much needed adaptation. A CARICOM Ministerial Briefing took place on Monday November 14, 2016 where the regional delegations deliberated on the overarching political developments and the general negotiation dynamics.
While it was noted that work was moving slowly with the subsidiary bodies and working groups focusing on procedures, Member Countries made it clear that the work of the Paris Agreement should be advanced.
According to Mr. Leon Charles of the Grenada delegation, the region’s expectations for COP22 are:
A focus on action on regional initiatives, with a focus on water and energy;
Participation in the ministerial dialogues on financial support and ambition in the pre-2020 period, to advocate for strong emissions reduction to be able to achieve the 1.5 degree target;
A smooth and positive start to the work under the Paris Agreement; and
The need for strong solidarity and support for the international climate change process.
Six Heads of State from the Region (including Prime Ministers of Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica) are addressing the High-Level Segment between Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 November, 2016. As observed climate change impacts on our Member States worsen, Heads have called for urgent action in undertaking work to implement the Paris Agreement by reiterating the fact that SIDS are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change due to geographic and economic challenges. Consequently, Heads have called for targeted adaptation finance and a balance between finance for mitigation and adaptation. Heads have made a further call for the adaptation fund to serve the Paris Agreement since it has been the most successful in providing funding to support vulnerable countries.
Director General of the OECS, Dr. Didacus Jules said that OECS participation and support at COP22 is focused on representing Member States and the need for urgent action in implementing the Paris Agreement in which to realise enhanced support through finance for adaptation and mitigation in a balanced manner and capacity building aimed at building resilience and adapting to climate change.
“In our region, as we have seen from the disasters which have hit several countries in recent times, this has deep implications for protecting lives and livelihoods and ensuring our survival as Small Island Developing States.
“The Caribbean Heads are therefore continuing to demonstrate leadership at that international level in Marrakech, urging the developed countries to deal with greater urgency on their actions regarding climate change,” Dr. Jules said.
Heads are reminding that after the momentum and successes realised at COP 21 in Paris, there should be no delay in moving forward with work and as a united global community in addressing climate change.
The OECS Commission therefore continues its mandate in supporting the wider Region, representing and working on behalf of its Member States in line with Article 24 of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre and the St. Georges Declaration of Principles on Environmental Sustainability.