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CARICOM’s climate change negotiators begin planning for COP26

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Posted: Wednesday, July 21, 2021. 4:13 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The CARICOM team of negotiators have met with regional Ministers with responsibility for climate change, environment and sustainable development to begin preparation for the Conference of the Parties (COP) 26th regular meeting later this year in Glasgow, Scotland, United Kingdom.

The group strategized over critical issues for CARICOM related to the Paris Agreement of 2015, including adaptation, climate financing, common timeframes, transparency, capacity building, and the Warsaw International Mechanism for Loss and Damage. They also emphasized the need to enhance ambitions under the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), mainly of the major emitters, if the goal of net-zero emission is to be realized by 2030 and the 1.5C over pre-industrial level be attained.

Assistant executive director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center Dr Mark Bynoe, with responsibility for coordinating regional preparation, emphasized, “We must have a good plan to ultimately derive the success, which would lead us along a continuum to a decarbonized and sustainable future.”

This is the first such meeting specifically for CARICOM negotiators and government actors and Dr. Bynoe said it had been successful.

“As a follow-up, the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) Secretariat, which is chaired by Antigua and Barbuda, will also be having a CARICOM Meeting at the end of July to ensure that CARICOM decisions feed into AOSIS positions. “This is important, to ensure that our voices are amplified through the AOSIS body, through which CARICOM interests are often channeled at the COP,” he explained.

The process of planning, strategizing, and building sensitization among government Ministers is expected to continue because according to Dr Bynoe, “when we get to COP, the decisions that are made, ought to be made based on sound technical advice, and be evidenced-based but they are still political decisions. It is therefore imperative that our policymakers are not only aligned but that they are conversant on the issues.”

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