The devastating impact that natural disasters have on the Caribbean was underscored by Prime Minister Allen Chastanet as he addressed the 22nd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 22) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Marrakech, Morocco on Tuesday November 15, 2016.
During The High Level Meeting, Prime Minister Chastanet referenced the recent passage of Tropical Storm Matthew with emphasis on the situation in Haiti.
“The response to these disasters particularly in Haiti have been muted at best with the level of resources committed so far being minuscule in the context of the overall needs,” noted the PM. “As these impacts manifest themselves in the Caribbean and in other parts of the world, they bear testament to the urgency of the challenges posed by climate change and the need to give full effect to the Paris Agreement.”
He noted that although Saint Lucia and Caricom as a whole welcomed the recent entry-into-force of the Agreement much more needs to be done if we are to truly combat climate change.
“I make a special plea on behalf of the particularly vulnerable and highly threatened small island nations, such as those of the Caribbean, to take action. This plea calls for, among others, the provision of adequate and accessible climate finance for mitigation, adaptation and loss and damage; the timely transfer of appropriate technology to those in need of it and the delivery of effective and enduring capacity building at all levels. One particularly urgent need is support for the timely and effective fulfilment of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).”
The Prime Minister went on to say that while the initiative by developed country partners to produce a roadmap for the accumulation of 100 billion dollars for adaptation measures was welcomed, the region was disappointed that a target date of 2020 has been set for realizing this objective.
“Additionally,” said Prime Minister Chastanet, “the amount itself is woefully inadequate. Because adaptation entails building capacity to respond to real or expected climatic changes, it is most important to states like ours. It is therefore critical that actions be expedited globally to ensure the adequate apportionment of financial resources towards adaptation. One source of funds that can be immediately available and which can be used to supplement the proposed 100 billion dollar fund lies in the present commitment by our developed country partners to allocate 0.7 per cent of their GDP to aid to developing countries. Some countries have reached or are close to that target but many have failed to measure up to this commitment.”
The Prime Minister called on developed country partners to commit themselves to honoring this undertaking.
He closed by stating: “By unlocking the Paris Agreement, we will be opening the door to a climate-resilient future. However, time is against us so, so before that door shuts on us forever, let us be bold and courageous and take the collective decision to act. What is required is acceleration of action in implementation, acceleration of ambition in emission reduction efforts, and acceleration of finance and other means of implementation to allow us all to act now!”