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CARICOM National Elected Vice Chair of the JISC at its 43rd Meeting

Belmopan, Belize; October 21, 2020. – Mr Derrick Oderson of Barbados was elected Vice Chairman of the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC) of the Kyoto Protocol at its 43rd session held on Friday, 16 October 2020. Ms Vanessa Leonardi of Italy was elected as the Chair. The JISC approves submissions, determinations and verifications of joint implementation projects among developed countries which are parties to the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Joint implementation is one of the three flexibility mechanisms established to assist developed countries to meet their obligations to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. The other mechanisms are the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and emission trading.

The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends on 31 December 2020 and there is no intention for a third commitment period. A new cooperative mechanism is being finalized for the Paris Agreement which will include both market and non-market mechanisms akin to the flexibility mechanisms of Kyoto. Countries that are especially vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change and sea level rise such as Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are ensuring that the mechanisms under the Paris Agreement are more stringent than those under the Kyoto Protocol so that the target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level is achieved. Caribbean scientists have ascertained that the 1.5-degree target is at the threshold of the region’s adaptive capacity. Warming above that level could result in irreversible damage to the region’s ecosystems and natural resources upon which the economic sectors such as agriculture, fishing and tourism depend.

JISC 43 reviewed project activity among parties, the state of the carbon market including that being developed for international aviation, and implications of the Doha Amendment to the protocol which will come into force on 31 December 2020, the same day the second commitment period ends.

Mr Oderson was elected to the JISC at COP 25 in Madrid, Spain last December, nominated by SIDS. Mr Carlos Fuller of Belize, International Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), is an alternate member of the JISC, representing the Latin American and Caribbean constituency. JISC 43 like most international meetings this year was held virtually, the fourth consecutive year that the JISC has met in this format. The report of JISC 43 will be submitted to the CMA, the governing body of the Kyoto Protocol when it convenes in Glasgow, Scotland next year.

For more information on the documents considered at the meeting, see https://ji.unfccc.int/MeetingInfo/DB/0Q9AMEZHR2JFDXS/view

Adaptation Fund Accredits CDB

 

 

Caribbean_Development_Bank_Adaptation_Fund_accreditation

Bank can now tap Fund to address climate change concerns

Bridgetown, Barbados, March 17, 2016:

The Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) can now better access funds to address climate change and mitigate the impact on Borrowing Member Countries (BMCs) after the Board of the Adaptation Fund announced on March 1 that accreditation has been granted to the regional development funding agency.

“CDB’s accreditation opens gateways to well-needed grant financing which will enable our Borrowing Member Countries to proactively address life threatening vulnerabilities,” said Dr. Warren Smith, president of the CDB.

           A major pillar of CDB’s Climate Resilience Strategy is that of helping BMCs access concessionary resources to provide financing to support urgent actions required to build climate resilience.  According to Dr. Smith, “accreditation to the AF is an extremely positive achievement, since it gives the Bank access to a source of grant resources to help to support urgent climate resilient investments for some of the most climate vulnerable countries in the world.”

The Adaptation Fund was established in 2001 under the Kyoto Protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to finance concrete adaptation projects and programmes in developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The AF works across seven areas: Agriculture, Coastal Zone Management, food security, disaster risk reduction, multi-sector projects, rural development and water management. The Fund has committed US$ 331 million in 54 countries since 2010 to climate adaptation and resilience activities.

CDB’s current Strategic Plan has building resilience to climate change as its principal thrust. This emphasis recognizes the reality that there is a probability that at least one Caribbean country has a 25 per cent chance of being hit by a major climate event every year.

To achieve accreditation CDB had to demonstrate that it has the capacity to manage and provide oversight of the use of AF’s resources in an efficient, effective and transparent manner.  Accreditation is valid for five years.

            Dr. Smith noted that CDB’s recent experience in preparing climate action investment projects, showed that preparation costs could increase by between 10-15%, because of the required supporting technical investigations or studies; such as climate vulnerability assessments; that are required to demonstrate the explicit adaptive or mitigation measures employed to achieve climate resilience. He expects that the Bank will make its first formal submission to the AF before the end of the 2016.

Credit: Caribbean Development Bank

Longstanding CARICOM Negotiator on Climate Change Reflects on the UNFCCC’s 20th Anniversary

Carlos Fuller

Carlos Fuller

Today, Friday, 21 March 2014, marks the 20th anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. As we celebrate the landmark Convention and the investment in its implementation over the last two decades, Caribbean Climate, the region’s premier climate change focused blog, asked Carlos Fuller, a long-standing Caribbean negotiator who now functions as the International and Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, to reflect on this milestone. His comments are featured below.

Having been involved in the climate change negotiation process since its inception, I look back at the past 20 years with mixed emotions. I have witnessed first-hand the assimilation of vague ideas on the elements of a climate change agreement which were crafted into a Convention with perhaps too rigid elements that have hindered the actions required to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases instead of facilitating a process which would have produced the change in productive and consumption patterns to address the causes of climate change. Nevertheless, a series of decisions including the development and adoption of the Kyoto Protocol provided the impetus for a small group of countries to reduce their emissions and have raised the awareness among a significant segment of the population that the world must take action to cope with a changing climate.

The Caribbean has certainly benefited from the process. All CARICOM States are now aware of the threat climate change poses to the region. Institutional processes have been established in the region in response to the threat including the establishment of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre which is mandated to coordinate the region’s response to climate change, the development of a Master of Science programme in climate change in CEREMES at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies and the creation of the Climate Change Impacts Group at the Moina Campus of UWI among others. The region has attracted over US$100 million in funding to enhance its capacity to address climate change, to assess the impacts of climate change on the region, to asses the region’s vulnerability and to undertake action to reduce that vulnerability. Unfortunately, the region has emulated the example of the international community and has not undertaken the transformational changes that will make the region resilient to climate change.

The region and the international community have another chance to get it right. The global community has embarked on a process to develop a new climate change agreement which should be finalized in Paris in December 2015 and which will come into effect in 2020. That agreement must stimulate all countries to contribute to an international effort to drastically reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and provide the financial and technical support to adapt to the impacts of climate change. The next two years  will be especially crucial as the international community seeks to craft a global agreement that involves all actors (developed, developing, LDC’s etc.) in a massive effort to keep global temperature increase below the 2 deg. C mark and for the capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund at a level that ensures adequate resources are available to allow significant implementation of Adaptation measures in CARICOM and other developing countries.

Reflection on the 2012 Doha Climate Change Talks

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre, says Caribbean delegates played a major role at last year’s climate change talks in Doha, including as Chairs of Contact groups and lead negotiators representing the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) or the Group of 77 and China. He notes that the region would like to see the establishment of a Loss and Damage mechanism included in the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol. Read his reflection on the 2012 Doha climate change talks.

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liasion Officer

Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liasion Officer

The annual United Nations Climate Change Talks were held in Doha, Qatar from 26 November to 6 December 2012. It consisted of meetings of all seven bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) including the 18th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP), the highest body of the Convention, and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the parties of the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), which is the highest body of the Kyoto Protocol.

The Caribbean delegations attending the meetings were hoping to achieve three main objectives: to ensure the continuity of the Kyoto Protocol, to ensure a successful conclusion of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long Term Cooperative Action under the Convention, and to establish a loss and damage mechanism. Most of these objectives were realized.

The first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ended on the 31st of December 2012. Developed countries had agreed when they signed the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 that they would collectively reduce their emissions of greenhouse by 5% of their 1990 levels during the period 2008 to 2012. A carbon market consisting of three flexibility mechanisms were created to assist these countries in meeting their targets. These would have collapsed without a successor agreement. Most of the original developed country signatories to the protocol agreed to an 8-year second commitment period which would result in a collective emission reduction of 18% below their 1990 levels. Japan, New Zealand and the Russian Federation refused to undertake commitments in the second period. The United States of America never ratified the Kyoto Protocol and Canada withdrew last year. A new gas, nitrogen trifluoride, was added to the list of gases controlled by the Kyoto Protocol. Countries agreed that Joint Implementation projects, which are projects between developed countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, should contribute 2% of their proceeds to the Adaptation Fund.

Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects are implemented in developing countries and the carbon credits generated are sold to developed countries which have emission reduction targets under Kyoto. Countries further agreed that only those countries which had taken on commitments in the second period could participate in theses flexibility mechanisms. All these agreements required amendments to the Protocol and these amendments must be ratified nationally. To ensure that there is no delay in the implementation of the amendments, countries agreed to [provisional application of the amendments or to use existing national legislation while the ratification process is being pursued.

In 2007 at COP 13, countries agreed to the Bali Action Plan which identified the seven areas which would be addressed to ensure long term cooperative action on climate change. These included a shared vision, mitigation by both developed and developing countries, adaptation, technology, finance and capacity building. These negotiations, including the agreement on a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol, should have been concluded in Copenhagen at COP 15. Although that attempt failed, the stage was set for agreement in the ensuing years for commitments by developed countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. Countries agreed on a shared vision of limiting global warming to 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to revisit that target with a view to reducing it to 1.5°C based on new scientific evidence. Developing countries agreed to undertake actions to reduce their emissions if they were provided with the financial and technical support. These Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) would be matched with donor support via a Registry managed by the Secretariat of the UNFCCC.

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Google Image

Negotiations for a mechanism to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, including through conservation (REDD+), were launched. New market mechanisms including through sectoral approaches would be developed. The Green Climate Fund (GCF) was established as the new vehicle for climate financing. A Standing Committee was established to provide oversight on all the steams of climate financing. A new technology mechanism was established to promote and facilitate development, deployment and transfer of technology for adaptation and mitigation. An Adaptation Committee and the Durban Capacity Building Platform were established. At Doha, the last outstanding institutional mechanisms for these new bodies were developed. These will form the basis of a new protocol or legally binding instrument to address climate change. This new agreement will be finalized by 2015 and will come into effect in 2020.

One element that Caribbean countries wish to see incorporated in the new agreement would be for the establishment of a Loss and Damage mechanism. This has been one of the goals of small island developing states (SIDS) since negotiations commenced on a climate change convention in 1990. All that has been achieved so far is the cursory mention of insurance in one article of the Convention. At Doha countries agreed that the COP would consider the establishment of institutional arrangements including an international mechanism to address loss and damage when it met in Warsaw at COP 19.

Caribbean delegates played major roles at the negotiation including as Chairs of Contact groups and lead negotiators representing the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) or the Group of 77 and China. Trinidad and Tobago will assume the chairmanship of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform in June 2013. This is the body that is negotiating the new agreement.

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