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“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, says Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE
“The urgency and seriousness of Climate Change calls for ambition in financing adaptation and mitigation”, according to Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE. He adds that this urgency is longstanding as it was recognized over two decades ago at the Rio Convention.
Speaking at the recently concluded (July 15-16) Caribbean Regional Workshop on Climate Change Finance and the Green Climate Fund in Barbados, Dr. Leslie noted that at that watershed convention countries agreed that:
Developed countries would curb consumption and production patterns
Developing countries would maintain development goals but take on sustainable development approaches
Developed countries would support developing countries through finance, technology transfer and reforms to the global economic and financial structures
Dr. Leslie notes that even with these longstanding commitments progress has been limited.
Despite continued intergovernmental processes, there has been little implementation of the agreements. At the time a pledge to commit 0.7% of national income to international aid was made. This pledge has only been met by five countries and where given, aid is unpredictable and poorly targeted and/or administered.
The two day regional workshop at which Dr. Leslie spoke primarily sought to review the various financial mechanisms, including the Green Climate Fund, available to developing countries— specifically Caribbean Community member countries.
Developed countries pledged to provide new and additional resources, including forestry and investments, approaching US$30 billion for the period 2010 – 2012 and with balanced allocation between mitigation and adaptation. This collective commitment made at the Conference of the Parties (COP15) in December 2009 in Copenhagen is known as ‘fast-start finance’.
The Fast Start Funds:
New and additional resources
US$30 billion annually through 2013
Increasing to 100 billion by 2020
Unfortunately neither of the first two commitments has been accomplished
Following up on this pledge, the Conference of the Parties in Cancún, in December 2010, took note of this collective commitment by developed country Parties and reaffirmed that funding for adaptation will be prioritized for the most vulnerable developing countries, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States and Africa, said Dr. Leslie.
What’s the Green Fund?
The Green Fund is the most recent of the Climate Change-related Funds now being developed for operational implementation in the near future. The Fund seeks to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global efforts towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change.
It is the expectation that this fund, unlike the other funds, will be better administered with an improved governance structure and will contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In the context of sustainable development, it is the expectation that the Fund will promote the paradigm shift towards low-emission and climate-resilient development pathways by providing support to developing countries, such as Members of the Caribbean Community, to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the impacts of climate change, taking into account the needs of those developing countries particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. The importance of this last statement is highlighted in the latest report (Turn Down the Heat) from the World Bank on Climate Change
Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre Dr. Kenrick Leslie, CBE, says “it would be informative and useful” if a Caribbean-centred study akin to the World Bank’s Turn Down the Heat: Climate extremes, regional impacts and the case for resilience, which focuses on Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South Asia, is conducted.
Turn Down the Heat says it is now very likely that the increase in average global temperature could be as high as 4oC, 2.5 oC more than what the Centre has advocated as a critical threshold for the region since 2009— a position strongly supported by the latest science.
Whereas the World Bank Report dealt in depth with the impact of a 3oC to 4oC temperature rise on the risks of climate change to development in Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia and South Asia, such an in depth study is yet to be done for our region which is considered one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of Climate Change.
Such a study is particularly important for the region as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) highlighted the Caribbean as one of the most vulnerable areas to Climate Change in its Fourth Assessment Review. It further recommended that average global temperature should not exceed 2oC if the region was to avoid significant climate and development impacts.
Dr. Leslie was speaking at the recently concluded (July 15-16) Caribbean Regional Workshop on Climate Change Finance and the Green Climate Fund in Barbados.
Turn Down the Heat, a new World Bank commissioned climate report released on June 19, looks at likely impacts of present day, 2°C, and 4°C warming across Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and South East Asia. It describes the risks to agriculture and livelihood security in Sub-Saharan Africa; the rise in sea-level, loss of coral reefs and devastation to coastal areas likely in South East Asia; and the fluctuating water resources in South Asia. Turn Down the Heat warns that poor communities will be the most vulnerable to climate change. The report explores the risks to lives and livelihoods in these three highly vulnerable regions. Turn Down the Heat: Climate Extremes, Regional Impacts, and the Case for Resilience (Read it in Issuu, Scribd, Open Knowledge Repository) takes the climate discussion to the next level, building on a 2012 World Bank report that concluded from a global perspective that without a clear mitigation strategy and effort, the world is headed for average temperatures 4 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial times by the end of this century.