Heads of Government welcomed the Paris Agreement which was the outcome of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in France in December 2015. They noted that CARICOM had a major interest in the outcome of this Conference, since, as SIDS, they stand to be among the most affected by Climate Change.
Heads of Government expressed their appreciation for the leadership of the then Chairman of Conference, Rt. Honourable Freundel Stuart, Prime Minister of Barbados and Dr. the Honourable Kenny Anthony, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia and Lead Head of Government for Sustainable Development, at the COP 21 which resulted in the positive outcome for the Community. They acknowledged the sterling contribution of the Region’s negotiators, the Task Force on Sustainable Development, led by Dr. the Honourable James Fletcher of Saint Lucia, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the CARICOM Secretariat to the Community’s achievements at the Conference.
Heads of Government recognised the need to capitalize on the achievements at COP 21 by working towards improving the national and regional capacities, to take advantage of the opportunities that the Agreement provided for addressing the impacts of Climate Change.
Heads of Government agreed to maintain the diplomatic demarche at international levels in support of the 1.5°C goal, noting that at the current levels of commitment, temperature rise would be more than 2.7 °C.
The Conference urged active participation in the high-level signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement, to be convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, on the 22 April 2016 in New York. The Conference also urged signature of the Agreement and deposit of instruments of ratification at that time or soonest thereafter.
Heads of Government noted the various opportunities for climate financing. They agreed to elevate the importance of Readiness Programming in accordance with the Green Climate Fund, to include the mainstreaming of climate change in National Development Plans, in order to facilitate access to climate financing.
Heads of Government further agreed that the Task Force on Sustainable Development led by Dr the Honourable James Fletcher and the team of negotiators and experts should continue their work to facilitate the implementation of the Agreement.
Heads of Government resolved to remain actively engaged in the UNFCCC processes at the various levels to support implementation of the Paris Agreement.
Excerpt from CARICOM's Press Release