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This week, 19 – 23 August, marks the Latin America and Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW) 2019, designed to advance climate action. It aims to support implementation of LAC countries’ Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement on climate change and action to deliver on the SDGs. The event is envisioned as a stepping stone to the UN 2019 Climate Summit.
The Week consists of two technical days and three days of thematic dialogues. The technical days include several closed events, including an NDC Dialogue focusing on SDG 1 (no poverty), the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) Regional Forum in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) to advance SDG 5 (gender equality), a workshop on urban mobility in next generation NDCs under SDG 11 (sustainable cities and communities) and a Marrakech Partnership meeting with a focus on SDG 7 (affordable and clean energy). Open meetings will focus on carbon pricing, markets and sustainable development in LAC and transitioning to a low-carbon economy. Thematic dialogues are dedicated to, inter alia, industry transition and nature-based solutions in line with SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth), energy transition and infrastructure, cities and local action to advance SDG 1, and long-term strategies and decarbonization under SDG 13 (climate action).
LACCW is part of Regional Climate Weeks that are held annually in Africa, LAC and Asia-Pacific. Regional Climate Weeks are organized by the Nairobi Framework Partnership (NFP), which supports developing countries in preparing and implementing their NDCs. The events’ global partners are the UNFCCC, Word Bank, UN Development Programme (UNDP), UN Environment Programme (UNEP), UNEP Partnership with the Technical University of Denmark (UNEP-DTU Partnership), Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) and International Emissions Trading Association (IETA). Regional partners include the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Africa, Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in LAC and Asian Development Bank (ADB) and UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in Asia-Pacific.
dates: 19-23 August 2019
location: Salvador, Bahia, Brazil
CREDIT: IISD SDG Knowledge Hub
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre is organizing a Regional Workshop of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) at the Belize Biltmore Plaza in Belize City from 10 to 12 July 2019. Representatives of the national Meteorological Services of the Caribbean and Central America will discuss the status of the land and ocean-based weather observing systems in the region, identify gaps in the networks, address issues of sustainability and maintenance, and identify potential sources of funding to address any weaknesses.
The GCOS Secretariat is housed in the Headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland. Members of the Secretariat will also be in attendance at the workshop.
The GCOS Secretariat reports annually to the Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on the status of the global climate observing system. The outcome of this regional workshop will feature prominently in their report this year at COP25 in December in Santiago de Chile.
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and its partner the Meteorological Institute (INSMET) in Cuba, conducted a series of training workshops between February 11 and March 14, 2019 to assist Belize with its National Communication to the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (UNFCCC) .
The trainings which culminated with a ‘Gender and Communication’ workshop, were held in collaboration with the National Climate Change Office (NCCO) from Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development and Immigration in Belize and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) .
Gender and Communication
The two-day ‘Gender and Communication’ workshop was held from March 13 to 14, at the National Trade Show Grounds’ Agriculture Conference room in Belmopan City. It was facilitated by Mrs. Martha Fernandez, Information and Communication Specialist of the Cuban Institute of Marine Sciences (ICIMAR), and Dr. Elizabeth Miranda, Senior Professor in the Latin American Faculty for Social Sciences (FLACSO), University of Havana. The workshop aimed to build the capacity of Technical Officers from the sectors involved in the 4th National Communication by looking at the various gender integrated approaches, communication strategies and communicative products that were utilized by Cuba’s Third National Communication that can be taken into account for Belize’s National Communication.
Climate Modelling Consultation Meetings for Agriculture, Water, Coastal Zone and Fisheries Sectors
Climate Modelling consultation and meetings were also held with officers in the agriculture, water, coastal zone and fisheries departments of the Belize government. These meetings were held by the Centre in partnership with the Cuban Institute of Meteorology (INSMET), the National Climate Change Office (NCCO) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and ran from February 26 to March 1, 2019.
The meetings which were held in the Centre’s training room focused on determining the climate modelling data needs for key sectors such as the Water, Agriculture, Coastal Zone and Fisheries sectors to produce sector-specific climate impact maps.
These sectors will be investigated as part of Belize’s Sector-Based Vulnerability and Adaptation Assessment which is to be conducted under Belize’s Fourth National Communication and First Biennial Update Report to the UNFCCC Project which is being implemented by the NCCO. The sessions, included consultation with stakeholders and personnel within a sector.
A subsequent meeting was held on Friday, March 8, 2019 at the NEMO conference room in Belmopan to build Belize’s capacity and increase the country’s knowledge about climate change to build resilience.
Dr. Arnoldo Bezamilla Morlot and Dr. Abel Centella from INSMET, Cuba shared the climate models they developed for the fisheries, water, coastal zone and agriculture sectors based on the previous planning sessions. The meeting concluded with review, feedback and discussion of the outputs of the climate modelling exercise.
4th National Communication Workshop
On February 20, 2019, a “National Communication Partnership Workshop” facilitated by Dr. Eduardo Planos, Director for Cuba’s 3rd National Communication, from INSMET and Dr. Abel Centella, Director of INSMET, was held at the George Price Center for Peace and Development in Belmopan City.
The workshop was intended to build the capacity of technical officers from the various relevant Government Ministries and Departments in the area of coastal zone and sea level by focusing on measurement tools, statistical analysis and modelling methods, and community engagement. The workshop was carried out as part of the Fourth National Communication and First Biennial Update Report Project to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is being implemented by the National Climate Change Office (NCCO) to supplement existing national activities geared towards building Belize’s Climate Resilience.
The workshop was attended by 14 representatives from Institutions including the National Meteorology Service, National Climate Change Office, CCCCC, Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, Ministry of Public Works, National Emergency Management Organization (NEMO), Fisheries Department and National Hydrological Service (NHS).
Coastal Zone, Sea Level Rise, and Related Processes Capacity Building Workshop
The four-day capacity building “Coastal Zone, Sea Level Rise, and Related Processes” workshop facilitated by Dr. Marcelino Hernández Gonzalez, Cuban Coastal Zone Expert, was held during the period of February 11 – 14 , 2019, at the Coastal Zone Management Authority and Institute’s Conference Room in Belize City. It was made possible through the collaboration of the Centre, NCCO, UNDP and Cuba’s Institute for Marine Sciences (ICIMAR). The purpose of the workshop was to build the capacity of technical officers from the various relevant Government Ministries and Departments on the area of coastal zone and sea level by focusing on measurement tools, statistical analysis and modelling methods, and community engagement. The workshop was carried out as part of the Fourth National Communication and First Biennial Update Report Project to the United National Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which is being implemented by the National Climate Change Office (NCCO) to supplement existing national activities geared towards building Belize Climate Resilience.
For more information about the training workshops, contact: Mr. Ahnivar Peralta at email@example.com.
Caribbean #1point5toStayAlive Explainer: Leon Charles and Spencer Thomas, on 2018 and the Road to COP24
2018 is another crucial year for global climate change negotiations, as Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) develop a work programme for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and as efforts are being made to ensure that the 1.5°C target is eventually reached.
In all the negotiation processes leading to and during the next meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP24) in December, the Caribbean needs to remain actively involved and to make its voice heard.
In this video, regional experts Leon Charles and Spencer Thomas present the agenda for the coming weeks and months, and outline the challenges and the opportunities that the Caribbean must consider in order to secure a satisfactory outcome from forthcoming global negotiations.
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.
President Daniel Ortega had announced his plans to sign the Paris Agreement last month, during a meeting with a delegation of Senior Executives from the World Bank.
Nicaragua’s Nationally Determined Contributions haven’t been submitted yet, but the country is already considered a renewable energy paradise, as it currently produces more than 50 percent of its power needs from clean energy and aims to increase this to 90 percent by 2020.
Rosario Murillo, Nicaragua’s Vice President and First Lady commented that the Paris Agreement “is the only instrument we have in the world that allows the unity of intentions and efforts to face up to climate change and natural disasters”.
Nicaragua constitutes a developing country, which is however threated disproportionally from the impacts of climate change like extreme weather events and it is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes.
In 2015, it refused to sign the Paris accord as it claimed the Agreement was too weak and it did not protect developing countries from climate change.
However, President Daniel Ortega decided that Nicaragua’s decision to join the Agreement will be done in support of these nations.
He had said: “We have to be in solidarity with this large number of countries that are the first victims, who are already the victims and are the ones who will continue to suffer the impact of these disasters and that are countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, of the Caribbean, which are in highly vulnerable areas”.
To date, 169 countries have ratified the agreement and 165 countries have submitted their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs).
On Monday, UNFCCC published its “Climate Action Now: Summary for Policymakers 2017” based on recommendations from the Technical Expert Meetings on climate change mitigation and adaptation held in May 2017 in Bonn, and as part of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action that is working to support INDCs and National Climate Action Plans.
The report shed light on the importance of coordination and coherence of all three global agendas related to climate change, i.e. the Paris Agreement, the UN SDGs, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030.
For example, climate change mitigation action can bring co-benefits for adaptation and sustainable development; renewables can increase access to electricity as well as reduce emissions and more efficient and sustainable agriculture and forestry can contribute to adaptation too.
In addition, it stressed the importance of data and information availability, as a lot of data about the impacts of climate change and the associated risks are not available for many countries.
The report also mentions the complexity of measuring and verifying emissions from agriculture, forestry and other land use, stressing that this needs to be addressed soon.
You can read the full “Climate Action Now: Summary for Policymakers 2017” report here.
Credit: Climate Action Programme
Participants at the eleventh Latin American and Caribbean Carbon Forum (LACCF) have underlined the importance of commitments by “new actors,” such as cities and local, tribal or state governments in achieving the objective of the Paris Agreement on climate change to keep global average temperature rise well below 2 °C and as close as possible to 1.5 °C.
In his closing remarks, former Mexican President Philippe Calderón said the participation of sub-national and non-state actors could fill the gap between between current climate mitigation pledges by national governments and efforts required to achieve the objective of the Paris Agreement. He told participants that the shift towards new actors creates a “new vision in a politically adverse world,” noting the example of pledges by cities and businesses that are part of ‘We Are Still In,’ a network of more than 2,500 mayors, tribal leaders, CEOs and university presidents in the US committed to continued action in the face of the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement.
Other speakers highlighted the need for continued efforts to decarbonize Latin American economies, noting that such endeavors cannot be achieved through isolated actions but require cooperation among many actors and mutual transparency. UNFCCC Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa underlined the role of private and public sectors working together to mobilize necessary investments.
Attended by more than 480 participants from 38 countries, LACCF 11 served as venue to inspire greater climate action in the LAC region. While its primary focus is on market mechanisms, carbon pricing, climate finance and the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), the event also provided an opportunity to discuss other forms of climate action and policies.
Co-organized by the Mexican Secretariat of Environment and Natural resources, UNFCCC, UNDP, the World Bank Group and many other partners, LACCF 11 was held 18-20 October 2017 in Mexico City, Mexico.
Credit: IISD SDG Knowledge Hub
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.
The Climate Change Division of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation of Jamaica is undertaking a public outreach entitled “Uncut Conversations on Climate Change: Dialogue for the Future” at the Terra Nova Hotel in Kingston, Jamaica from 11 to 13 April 2017. The Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) has been invited to participate in the event. Carlos Fuller, International and Regional Liaison Officer, was the lead conversationalist on the opening day on the theme “Come on People, COP is the Conference of the Parties”. He explained the international climate change negotiation process under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Executive Director of the CCCCC, Dr Kenrick Leslie, will participate on Day 2 of the event as the lead conversationalist for “What did Small Island Developing States Give Up or Gain by Signing and Ratifying the Paris Agreement”.
In his opening address, the Honourable Daryl Vaz announced that the Government of Jamaica had ratified the Paris Agreement. This was greeted with applause by the audience which consisted on students and representatives of the media, government agencies, the private sector and the NGO community. Among the subjects being covered in the Conversations are: the Paris Agreement, adaption, mitigation, capacity building, finance, and technology.
Minister Vaz urged everyone to become advocates for ‘Mother Earth’ and work hard to preserve and protect her for the next generation. He urged Jamaicans to take proactive steps such as practising proper disposal of garbage, carpooling to reduce the carbon footprint, and conserving and recycling water, as well as incorporating climate-smart agriculture, to adapt to and mitigate the impacts of climate change.
“In all we do, we need to enable and empower the poorest and most vulnerable among us, including our women and children, to adapt to and cope with some of the intense and often devastating weather conditions associated with climate change,” he said.
The private sector and the NGO community also lead conversations. The event will culminate with the measures Jamaica is undertaking to respond to climate change.
The National Water Commission, Forestry Department, National Environment and Planning Agency, Adaptation Programme and Financing Mechanism, Meteorological Services Division, Rural Agricultural Development Authority and the Climate Change Division mounted exhibits at the event.
The 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is scheduled to take place from 7-18 November 2016 in Marrakesh, Morocco. COP22 will build on last year’s Conference of Parties in Paris (COP21) and begin preparations for entry into force of the Paris Agreement, focusing on action to achieve the commitments of the landmark Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
This three minute video explains all you need to know about the 2015 Paris Agreement and how it will help to address climate change and promote the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The Paris Agreement enters into force today, 4 November 2016, creating binding commitments. The video highlights the need for further ambition by governments and businesses.
Peruse articles related to the Paris Agreement and what it means for the Caribbean below:
Paris Agreement- Status of Ratification Why is COP 21 Important for the Caribbean? 11 points our negotiators are championing Credit: Track0 Vimeo Video; UNFCCC Secretariat For more inforemation, please contact UNFCCC Secretariat Phone: +49-228 815-1000;Fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org