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On the eve of the next global climate change conference to be held in Poland in December, and following the release of a special report by the International Panel on Climate Change that highlights the urgent need for action by governments, industries and individuals to contain global warming, Panos Caribbean is launching a new regional campaign to support the Caribbean and other vulnerable countries in the fight against climate change.
The face of the campaign is a new, powerful painting by Saint Lucian – American artist Jonathan Gladding. It pictures a young girl with her body almost entirely submerged by sea-level rise, and with her fingers sending the desperate message that she needs #1point5tostayalive.
Saint Lucian poet and playwright Kendel Hippolyte, who played a lead role in the campaign to secure the historic Paris Agreement in 2015, has called on Caribbean artists to add their voice to the call for decisive global action against climate change.
Click on the image above to obtain and download large-resolution.
“We cannot look at our children and grandchildren and say we did nothing or we did not know what to do. Whatever artistic gift we have – and whatever rewards it brings or we hope it will bring – will not mean a thing if all we hand over to our descendants is a planet that is their funeral pyre even while they are alive,” says Hippolyte.
Hippolyte has also revealed that he is working on a new theme song, entitled “1.5 Is Still Alive”, in collaboration with musician and humanitarian Taj Weekes. As was done in 2015 with the theme song of the campaign leading to the Paris conference, this project will bring together a number of well-known Caribbean singers.
“In a campaign such as this,” says Panos Caribbean’s coordinator Yves Renard, “artists play a pivotal role, because their voices are known and credible, and because they are able to convey messages in ways that resonate with the culture, feelings and concerns of people and communities. We encourage all organisations,” Renard said, “to reproduce Jonathan Gladding’s beautiful painting and use it to convey the urgency of action.”
The Paris Agreement signed at the historic climate conference in 2015 called on all countries “to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase … to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial average”. Climate change experts now confirm that global warming is on track to break the 1.5°C mark by around 2040.
PICTURED, LEFT: SAINT LUCIAN – AMERICAN ARTIST JONATHAN GLADDING
Experts agree that an increase of average global temperature above 1.5°C will have disastrous impacts on the Caribbean and other vulnerable regions of the world, but they also believe that it is possible to contain global warming, that we have the technology to reduce our impact on the climate. “It is still possible to contain the rise of global temperature, but that will not happen unless governments and businesses in the largest emitting countries are prepared to take radical measures and unless everybody, from the schoolchild to the government official, from the technician to the parent, from the wise elder to the young dreamer, contributes their pebble or their stone towards building a bulwark against climate change.”
This regional awareness campaign is supported by the Caribbean Development Bank and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, in collaboration with the CARICOM Secretariat, the OECS Commission and other regional entities.
CREDIT: PANOS Caribbean
Today, Monday, November 13, 2017, in Bonn, Germany at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s 23rd Conference of the Party (COP23), Caribbean leaders present new findings from the 1.5-degree Research into the implications of the Caribbean. Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) moderates the region’s side event, 1.5 degree imperative for the Caribbean. Dr. Leslie is joined by Dr. William Warren Smith, President of the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB); Allen Chastanet, Prime Ministers of Saint Lucia; Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada; Professor Michael Taylor of the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona; and Dr. Abel Centilla of INSMET. The findings are presented here in the region’s newest publication: The Caribbean Science Series, Volume 1.
PRESS RELEASE – “1 point 5 to stay alive”, the Caribbean speaks to the world at global Climate Change Conference
“1.5 is a matter of necessity,” said University of the West Indies’ Professor Michael Taylor, speaking at an event convened by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) as part of the Conference on Climate Change, COP23, taking place in Germany until the end of this week.
Prof. Taylor was at the time delivering the main results of a study funded by the CDB, a study that has brought together 45 Caribbean scientists from 11 regional institutions to examine and compare the implications of climate change for the region.
The facts speak for themselves. On average, the temperature on this planet has already increased by 1 degree Celsius over what it was before the world began to industrialise, and the impacts of that increase are there for all to see.
In the Caribbean, global warming has already resulted in more intense hurricanes with stronger winds and much more rain, but it is also responsible: for increases in both air and ocean temperature; for more very hot days and nights; for longer and more frequent periods of drought; for an increase in very heavy rainfall events; and for sea-level rise and coastal erosion.
Climate change is real, and things can only get worse, but the question is: how much worse? This is the question that was at the centre of the climate change negotiations in Paris two years ago, and this is why the Caribbean considered it a success that the Paris Agreement made a commitment to an increase of “not more than 2 degrees”, trying to achieve the target of 1.5 degrees.
“This 1.5 Caribbean project,” said Prof. Taylor, “is the region doing its own science, putting Caribbean science in the literature of the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).”
And the messages from that research are clear. With ‘business as usual’, temperatures will increase by at least 2.5 degrees by the end of the century, reaching 1.5 degrees in the late 2020s, and 2 degrees in the 2050s.
“At 2 degrees, we would have a significantly harsher climate. We would be moving into the realm of the unprecedented. It’s a matter of compromise,” said Prof. Taylor, “even a 1.5 degree temperature increase will be very problematic.”
The message that the Caribbean is giving at the UN Conference is therefore one of urgency, a message that was echoed by Saint Lucian Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, who spoke at the session and who is attending the Conference in his capacity as CARICOM Lead on Sustainable Development and Climate Change.
“The Caribbean and other small island developing states (SIDS) have been patiently waiting for the world to get its act together,” said PM Chastanet, “but we now need action; we don’t have the ability to wait any longer, we need investment to build our resilience. Financing is a major constraint, and we now need a dedicated source of funds to support resilience building, specifically for the SIDS”.
The need for accessible and appropriate financing was also stressed by Dr. Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada and current Chairman of CARICOM, who declared that “we need funding for adaptation but, with the projected impact of a 1.5 increase, adaptation is not enough, thus our call for a more comprehensive regime on Loss and Damage.”
“Since the Climate Change Conference of 2009 in Copenhagen, when the message of 1 point 5 to stay alive was first sent out, the Caribbean has been advocating that a target of 1.5 degrees is both necessary and feasible,” said Dr Kenrick Leslie, the Executive Director of the CCCCC.
At the Bonn Conference this year, thanks to the work of Prof. Taylor and other Caribbean scientists, and to the tireless work of Caribbean delegates in these critical negotiations, this message is coming across even louder and stronger, backed by the highly credible scientific work of the region’s scientific community.
On Monday, November 13th at 1:15 pm, the region will host a side event on the 1.5 vs 2 degree paper prepared by Professor Michael Taylor of the University of West Indies, Mona Campus. Professor Taylor will be joined by high-level representatives, including members from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and regional Prime Ministers to present on the importance of 1.5 degree for the survival of the region. This 45 minute side event will be followed by a 45 minute event to present the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) Financing Initiative.
Confronting the 1.5 Degree Challenge and Accelerating NDC Implementation in the Caribbean
Joint Side Event to highlight the high vulnerability of Caribbean Countries to the impacts of climate change, as well as their commitment and leadership in addressing climate change. In the context of this side event, the Caribbean NDC Financing Initiative will be introduced.
Monday, 13 Nov 2017 13:15—14:45 Meeting Room 9
- Ministerial representation from Caribbean countries;
- President of the Caribbean Development Bank;
- University of the West Indies;
- Organization of Eastern Caribbean States;
- Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre;
- GIZ Germany;
- NDC Partnership;
- the UNFCCC Secretariat.
“Climate change is real and we’re not a Government that is going to deny it.”
These sentiments were expressed by Premier Sharlene Cartwright Robinson in response to a question posed by reporters on the Government’s position on climate change.
Climate change refers to a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to the Earth’s atmosphere.
These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as sea level rise, ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide, shifts in plant blooming, and extreme weather events.
This global trend has been blamed for intensifying hurricane Irma which wreaked havoc on many Caribbean countries and territories including the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Speaking at a recent press conference, the country’s leader maintained that the Government is keen on formulating strategies to mitigate the effects of climate change locally.
She said: “Our position is: it is real, something is changing something is happening, and while we can’t duck and dodge or ignore it we have to build a resiliency towards it.
Cartwright Robinson added that over the last few months, staff of the Ministry of Public Works attended training sessions on climate resilience hosted by the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) which has its headquarters in Barbados.
“At those seminars they would’ve done some training in building roads in resilience to climate change.
“Also in our last meeting in the House of Assembly we passed what was a motion for a loan from CDB to look at restoring and rebuilding seawalls to be resilient to climate change.
“So we have already taken action showing that we believe that climate change is real unlike some heads of government.”
She emphasised that in order to protect the socioeconomic gains and make development efforts in the territory sustainable, efforts to build climate and disaster resilience are essential.
“We believe that it is real and we will have a firm policy where critical departments which serve on that committee, headed by Mr Ronlee James of my office, will play a role in how we build our resiliency.”
Several economists from the CDB have argued that rising disaster and climate risk, in addition to high vulnerability to seismic events, is threatening to undo much of the territory’s impressive development over the last few years.
Protecting the TCI’s coastline
A feasibility study and designs for coastal protection works in Grand Turk, North, Providenciales and Salt Cay are expected to be carried out soon.
A shoreline management plan will also be created to protect the Islands’ coastlines using climate-resilient approaches.
This project will be supported by a $440,000 loan, a $50,000 grant allocated from resources provided by the European Investment Bank under the Grant Facility for Climate Action Support to CDB, and counterpart funding of $289,000 from the TCI Government.
The provision of the loans and grant come directly on the heels of the CDB’s 47th annual flagship event held in the Turks and Caicos Islands in May this year.
According to O’Reilly Lewis, the chief of economic in the infrastructure division of the CDB, coastal defence is important in sustaining the TCI’s tourism industry.
He said: “Tourism is the main pillar of TCI’s economy, with its coastal and marine resources as the basis of the sector.
“The loss of critical beach assets due to coastal erosion, as well as the other anticipated changes resulting from climate change, would potentially have significant negative implications for settlements, tourism sites and livelihoods resulting from the reduction in coastal and marine economic activity.”
Lewis pointed out that the feasibility study and designs derived from the technical assistance project will provide the TCI Government with viable designs for climate-resilient infrastructure solutions to safeguard social and economic development, economic growth and livelihood security.
The shoreline management plan will strengthen the TCI’s capacity to sustainably monitor and manage the country’s beaches and related coastal assets.
It will also assist the Government with the development of a more comprehensive integrated coastal zone management plan.
The intervention is consistent with the CDB’s strategic objective of supporting inclusive growth and sustainable development within its borrowing member countries.
It also aligns with the bank’s corporate priorities of promoting disaster risk management and climate change mitigation and adaptation, and improved protection and sustainable management of natural resources.
Credit: Turks and Caicos Weekly News
“Belize to launch the Caribbean’s first Energy Efficiency Financing Facility under the Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project”
PRESS RELEASE – Belmopan, Belize; October 17, 2017 – The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC/5Cs) and the Development Finance Corporation (DFC) are scheduled to sign a Memorandum of Agreement launching the first Caribbean Regional Energy Efficiency Pilot Financing Facility for investments in Energy Efficiency (EE) and Renewable Energy (RE). The event is scheduled for Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 10:00 a.m., at the CCCCC Training Room, Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road, Belmopan, Belize.
The new EE Financing Facility was made possible with a grant of USD 200,000 under the Global Environment Facility-United Nations Environment Programme (GEF-UNEP) Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project, with co-financing of USD 800,000 from the DFC. The pilot financing facility is intended to provide the foundation for the development of a self-sustaining financing window within the DFC to facilitate increased investments in EE and RE. The work was jointly spearheaded by the DFC, the CCCCC/5Cs and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), with assistance from the GEF and UNEP, in developing innovative sustainable energy solutions that benefit the country and people of Belize.
It is recognized that globally, buildings account for over a third of total energy use and associated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; typically, 10 to 20 percent (depending on building type) of the total life‑cycle energy consumed is used for the manufacturing and assembly of building materials, construction, maintenance, refurbishment and demolition. Some 80 to 90 percent is used over the life of the building for heating, cooling, lighting and ventilation, house appliances, etc. In Belize, for example, the buildings sector (commercial, domestic, and institutional) is the largest consumer of electricity and accounts for more than 90 percent of total electricity consumption. It is therefore, the largest source of GHG emission after the transportation sector. The Project aims to achieve a minimum reduction of 20 percent in electricity use in the pilot activities that are to take place during 2014 – 2018.
- Hon. Frank Mena, Minister of State, Ministry of Labour, Local Government, Rural Development, Public Service, Energy & Public Utilities
- Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE, Executive Director, Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre
- Ms. Natalie Goff, General Manager, Development Finance Corporation
WHAT: OFFICIAL SIGNING CEREMONY: GEF-UNEP ESD PROJECT “BELIZE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PILOT FINANCING FACILITY”
WHEN: Tuesday, October 17, 2017, 10:00 a.m.
WHERE: Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, Lawrence Nicholas Building, Ring Road, Belmopan, Belize
The Energy for Sustainable Development in Caribbean Buildings (ESD) Project represents the first regional project that is piloting energy efficiency improvements in the economy of member states in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Buildings are identified to be the major consumers of electricity across the region, as a result, the Project focuses on the building sector for improving the efficiency of energy use.
Peruse the official Background Note – Blended Grant Loan Finance Mechanism – ESD Project (2013)
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. We maintain the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.
PRESS RELEASE – Port-of-Spain: October 9, 2017: When scientists and researchers meet in Trinidad at the International Climate Change Conference for the Caribbean this week, it will be in the aftermath of the devastation wrought in the region by successive monster storms in the current 2017 Hurricane Season.
The conference, which is being hosted by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) in association with the European Union (EU) funded Global Climate Change Alliance Plus Initiative (GCCA+) runs from October 9 to 12. It brings together regional scientists to update regional stakeholders on the ongoing regional research in climate change, inform on actions being undertaken to build climate resilience across the region by regional and international organisations, and discuss issues related to climate finance and the science, policy and finance nexus.
Scientists will present the key findings of the 1.5 to Stay Alive research project for the Caribbean region, which was funded by the Caribbean Development Bank. This should offer more insight into the consequences of global warming exceeding a 1.5 degree Centigrade threshold and provide our regional climate change negotiators with a more robust science-based platform for further insisting at the forthcoming Conference of Parties (COP) at the United Nations Framework Convention of Climate Change (UNFCCC) that global mitigation efforts need to be scaled up so that global warming does not exceed this threshold.
The meeting is being held under the theme “Adaptation in Action” which CCCCC’s Deputy Executive Director and Science Advisor Dr. Ulric Trotz said because this best describes the focus of regional institutions and countries in the face of threats posed by Climate Change.
“The 2017 Hurricane Season shows us that we must be proactive in building resilience in the small nation states of the region. And while adaptation and mitigation are critical, climate financing is a much-needed lifeline if the region is to successfully pursue a low carbon climate resilient development pathway. We cannot survive unless we are able to build to withstand these super storms,” he said.
Climate negotiators and Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Focal Points from across the region are also in attendance.
Other sponsors include the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), United Nations Development Programme Japan-Caribbean Climate Change Partnership (UNDP J-CCCP) and Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO).
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre coordinates the region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change. We maintain the Caribbean’s most extensive repository of information and data on climate change specific to the region, which in part enables us to provide climate change-related policy advice and guidelines to CARICOM member states through the CARICOM Secretariat. In this role, the Centre is recognized by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations Environment Programme, and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean. The Centre is also a United Nations Institute for Training and Research recognised Centre of Excellence, one of an elite few. Learn more about how we’re working to make the Caribbean more climate resilient by perusing The Implementation Plan.
Belmopan, BELIZE: May 31, 2017 – Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and Dr. June Soomer, Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS) discussed collaborations on a range of issues when they met at the Centre’s office here on Monday, May 29, 2017.
Dr. Soomer, and her team paid a courtesy call on Dr. Leslie and his team, and took the opportunity to discuss areas of future cooperation and dialogue. In reviewing the scope of work and responsibilities of both organisations, both Drs. Leslie and Soomer agreed that the region could benefit if both organisations coordinate for the advancement of areas such as eco-systems based management, the development of scientific tools and data to aid climate change adaptation measures and on programmes that would help regional leaders to make more informed decisions.
Dr Soomer pointed to the organisation’s recent signing of a US$4 million grant from South Korea to assess and control the impact of coastal erosion and sea level rise in some member states. The grant is being used to do work in countries like Jamaica where CCCCC is also doing coastal protection work with KfW, the German Development Bank.
Other areas identified for parallel coordination efforts include fisheries, communication, disaster risk response and climate financing. Pointing to the Centre’s recent accreditation by the Greed Climate Fund (GCF), Dr. Leslie said:
“The Centre along with the Caribbean Development Bank are now able to access financing to help the countries of the region prepare for the effects of climate change”.
The Centres’ work, Dr. Soomer told the meeting, aligns itself to the ACS’ goal to take the achievements of the region to the rest of the world. Caribbean also has a lot to teach the world, she said, noting that in the case of small organisations like the CCCCC and ACS, “pooling the resources, can do a lot for the region”.
Dr Soomer’s team also included Ms. Tricia Barrow, Political Advisor and Alexander Girvan, the Caribbean Sea Commission Coordinator. Dr.’s Leslie’s team included Mr. Keith Kichols, Dr. Donneil Cain, Mr Vincent Peter, project development specialists, and Mr. Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer.
The ACS is a grouping of countries of the sharing the Caribbean Sea. The organization provides a framework for cooperation and dialogue to further the economic integration, intra-regional trade and investments to improve competitiveness of its membership.
St Kitts and Nevis is getting a climate-related Caribbean Development Bank grant of $538,000 euros.
The CDB says the funds will facilitate the conducting of a climate risk and vulnerability assessment of the federation’s coastal road infrastructure.
The CDB grant will also be used to prepare designs for the rehabilitation of two high-priority sites, according to a release from the regional Bank.
The bank’s board of directors has approved millions in loans and grants for ten borrowing member countries, including the grant to St Kitts and Nevis.
In the case of Dominica the CDB has approved a US$12 million line of credit to support education and housing.
The loan to the Dominica Agricultural Industrial and Development Bank is intended to assist in providing finance for student loans, and low and lower-middle income housing that, combined, is expected to benefit 400 people.
Haiti is being given a significant CDB grant to improve climate resilience, and disaster risk management.
The CDB says the grant of US$5.5 million to the Government of Haiti is to improve climate resilience and disaster risk management on an island off the country’s southern peninsula.
St Vincent and the Grenadines is meanwhile being allocated five million US dollars in loans and grants in additional support for the transformation of the country’s energy sector.
Other projects have been approved in The Bahamas, Belize, Grenada, Guyana, Suriname and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
The Barbados-based Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) says it is providing US$40 million in funding for poverty reduction in eight Caribbean through the Basic Needs Trust Fund (BNTF).
It said the resources will support improved access to quality education; water and sanitation; basic community access and drainage; livelihoods enhancement and human resource development services in low-income and vulnerable communities under the ninth phase of BNTF (BNTF 9).
The countries that will benefit from the initiative are Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
“The participating countries share many common characteristics and face a number of challenges inherent to small, open economies. BNTF 9 will respond to the development needs of these countries, which face challenges associated with limited diversity in production and extreme vulnerability to natural hazards, which is now exacerbated by climate change and other external shocks,” said Daniel Best, director of projects at the CDB.
Initiatives under BNTF 9 will be implemented during the period March 2017 to December 2020.
The CDB said that the governments of the eight participating countries will provide total counterpart funding of US$6.4 million.
BNTF has implemented more than 2,750 sub-projects over the past 37 years, directly impacting the lives of more than three million beneficiaries in poor communities,” the CDB said, adding that the programme is its main vehicle for tackling poverty in the region, through the provision of basic infrastructure and skills training towards improving the livelihoods of beneficiaries in participating countries.
Credit: Jamaica Observer