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Week two of COP20 is now underway in Lima, Peru. Here's a round-up of week one from Sharon Lindo, International and Regional Policy Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.
The Caribbean Community continues to carve out a niche for itself in the Climate Change negotiations underway at COP 20 in Lima, Peru. If the first week of COP20 were to be summed up in a few words, it would be one of celebrating small victories. But any seasoned negotiator would caution against celebrating now.
The Alliance of Small Island States welcomed the call by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change outcomes to inform the Ad-Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform and other UNFCCC processes. This augers well for CARICOM, who have always supported science-based methods to inform action in the negotiations. The region looks forward to the use of the IPCC reports and other similar scientific processes to inform the 2015 Agreement. Undoubtedly the Region is encouraged by this first step.
In addition, the Caribbean Community considers the decision on bunker fuels timely. Under this arrangement the IMO and CMO will be allowed to continue their work and report to the COP without having any immediate financial obligations.
There has been much discussion and variance in positions on the Co-chairs Decision Text. While the current text does not offer all things to all Parties CARICOM believes that it contains enough substance for Parties to engage meaningfully. This is especially important if guidance is to be given to commence work on the INDCs.
The Region is also looking forward to receiving the Revised Elements Text and the finalization of the Executive Committee for Loss and Damage. CARICOM continues to advocate for a seat on the Committee for SIDS as the issue is of paramount importance to this group.
Small victories are being celebrated in Lima, but the region is treading carefully and looks with cautious optimism at the week ahead. There are a few crucial items to be decided by the Ministers, including how to address the INDCs and whether these should only be based on mitigation, which is currently only supported by CARICOM. The end of the next week will reveal whether CARICOM Ministers are able to hold its position and convince other delegations of its merit.
In typical COP tradition the next week will be a marathon for delegations. By all accounts there still remains substantial work if countries are to meet the 2015 deadline. The unified voice of small island states in the Caribbean Community and the wider alliance is essential in the days ahead if the Paris meeting will meet expectations. Like the rest of the world, we are eagerly anticipating the final decisions of Ministers on Friday.