Belmopan, Belize September 27, 2013― The IPCC Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, confirms the Caribbean Community’s longstanding call to limit global temperature rise to 1.50C. At the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (CoP) Meeting in 2009, which took place in Copenhagen, Denmark, the Caribbean Community indicated to the world community that a global temperature rise above 1.50C would seriously affect the survival of the community.
In 2010 at the UNFCCC CoP Meeting in Cancun, governments agreed that emissions need to be kept at a level that would ensure global temperature increases would be limited to below 20C. At that time, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) re-iterated that any rise in temperature above 1.50C would seriously affect their survival and compromise their development agenda.
The latest Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Assessment Report AR5 re-affirms the position reached in its AR4 Report. The position reached at that time was that it is very likely that the temperature rise will be in excess of 20C with a possible rise as high as 30C.
The United Nations (UN) Human Development Report (2008) and the State of the World Report (2009) of The Worldwatch Institute have identified 20C as the threshold above which irreversible and dangerous climate change will become unavoidable.
The latest IPCC Assessment Report should serve as a further wakeup call to our region that we cannot continue on a business as usual trajectory. It is an imperative that climate change be integrated in every aspect of the region’s development agenda, as well as its short, medium and long-term planning. The region must also continue to aggressively engage its partners at the bilateral and multilateral levels to reduce their emissions. The best form of adaptation is reduction in emissions level.