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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.
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Climate Podcast, a series of interviews with climate change experts and activists about key issues and solutions. In this special edition we talk with Dr Ulric Trotz, Deputy Director and Science Advisor at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, about his bold proposal to re-orient climate financing.
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Question 1: You recently proposed comprehensive changes to the way we approach climate change mitigation and adaptation in terms of climate financing, policy and programmes. What motivated this proposal?
Question 2: You point to inherent and consequential differences in Mitigation and Adaptation outcomes as the key reason for reimagining climate change responses. Why is this so important for the Caribbean, and the world in general?
Question 3: You point to energy as principal entry point for private sector investment, what primes this sector to spur the critical changes you call for?
Question 4: You call for private sector engagement both locally and globally given the considerable risks and high costs associated with Adaptation that is often prohibitive for the private sector in the developing world alone. Why would the private sector, say in the United Kingdom, be interested in providing funds for Adaptation in Belize? Is this the same scenario with mitigation?
Question 5: Given that distinct difference, how do we re-imagine the allocation of climate change resources such as the US100 billion per year Green Climate Fund?
Question 6: Your proposal could transform the climate change response landscape and potentially heighten private sector interest and investment in “Mitigation” without GCF’s resources crowding out private funding. But how do we deal with Adaptation funding more broadly?
The Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology in St Lucia, the OECS Commission and the High Level Support Mechanism are hosting two important meetings on Climate Change this week at the Bay Gardens Hotel in Rodney Bay. The first meeting, which concluded yesterday, brought together senior climate change negotiators from across the Caribbean over two days to discuss the major issues ahead of global negotiations that will should lead to the signing of a new international climate change agreement. The new agreement is expected to be signed at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris at the end of the year.
St Lucia is also host to a second meeting from January 28 to 29. The meeting will bring together Caribbean ministers with responsibility for climate change to address four main objectives:
provide ministers with a status report on the climate change negotiations;
provide political guidance to CARICOM negotiators participating in the negotiations;
prepare ministers for engaging in climate change negotiations during 2015; and
identify and discuss priority political actions that are required at the national level to accelerate the national and regional responses to climate change.
These two meetings are critical in helping to formulate a coordinated regional approach to the myriad issues on climate change—particularly in the areas of adaptation, mitigation, loss and damage, and climate financing.
Credit: Caribbean Hot FM
President Donald Ramotar lauded the work of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) during his presentation today, to CARICOM Heads of Government during their 25th Inter-Sessional Meeting at the Buccament Bay Resort, Kingstown, St Vincent and the Grenadines.
The Leaders agreed to establish a CARICOM Climate Change Task Force to provide guidance to Caribbean climate change negotiators, their Ministers and the region’s political leaders. The CCCCC, along with the CARICOM Secretariat has been tasked with setting up the task force and facilitating its work.
Guyana has been playing a lead role with regards to climate change, and priority projects on adaptation are outlined within its visionary Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which seeks to address the effects of climate change while simultaneously encouraging economic development.
The CARICOM Heads also reaffirmed the mandate of the CCCCC, to develop in partnership with member states, a portfolio of bankable projects eligible for climate financing and which is to be presented to the donor community for support.
The Centre is recognised by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and other international agencies as the focal point for climate change issues in the Caribbean.
“This is a critical decision by Heads at a time when efforts are underway through the UN (United Nations) to have a global climate change agreement by the end of 2015. We need to ensure that as a region, our voices are being heard on this important issue, and not only from our technical people, but from the collective political leadership in the region,” President Ramotar noted.
He re-emphasised the need for there to be a globally binding agreement on climate change.
“We have to ensure that we push for a climate change agreement by 2015 which is ambitious in terms of emission reduction targets and providing climate financing,” the Head of State said.
He also stressed that, despite the difficulties faced with climate financing and support for adaptation and climate resilience, the region needs to aggressively tap into opportunities that exist now, while it organises for future possibilities.
The President noted that the CCCCC and Guyana have been working closely since its establishment and closer ties are being developed as part of the LCDS implementation.
The CCCCC coordinates the Caribbean region’s response to climate change. Officially opened in August 2005, the Centre is the key node for information on climate change issues and on the region’s response to managing and adapting to climate change in the Caribbean, its website states.
On June 8, 2009 former President Bharrat Jagdeo launched the LCDS that outlines Guyana’s vision to promote economic development, while at the same time combating climate change. A revised version was published on May 24, 2010 and subsequently the LCDS update was launched in March 2013.
Major efforts have been taken to build the country’s capacity to adapt to the anticipated impacts of climate, including extreme weather patterns and sea-level rise leading to flooding.
The LCDS will support the upgrading of infrastructure and assets to protect against flooding through urgent, near-term measures. Specifically, the LCDS update, identified the project area “Climate Resilience, Adaptation and Water Management Initiatives” for which up to US$100 million will be allocated to improve Guyana’s capacity to address climate change.
Published by: GINA and Kaieteur News.