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‘CARICOM Moment of Ambition’ on eve of Paris Agreement’s 5th Anniversary

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the Paris Agreement, the CARICOM Secretariat and the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC), in partnership with the UK Government on Friday hosted the CARICOM Moment of Ambition. 

The event was convened to demonstrate continued Small Island Developing States (SIDS) leadership and ambition and tounderscore the need for immediate climate action internationally.  Hosting this event prior to the 12 December 2020, Climate Ambition Summit to be hosted by the United Nations, United Kingdom and France to celebrate the Paris Anniversary, served to amplify the voice of CARICOM SIDS.

The event featured addresses by Lord Tariq Ahmad, UK Minister for the Commonwealth, Ambassador Irwin La Rocque Secretary General of CARICOM and Dr. Colin Young, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre.

(l-r) Lord Tariq Ahmad, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, Dr Colin Young

In his opening address to the Event Lord Tariq Ahmad, UK Minister for the Commonwealth said:

“As small island states, Caribbean countries are on the frontline of the climate crisis. Their leadership in tackling climate change, even in the face of COVID-19, is an inspiration. I hope at tomorrow’s Climate Ambition Summit, other countries match the innovation, ambition and commitment demonstrated at today’s CARICOM Moment of Ambition Summit.

The UK will use our COP Presidency to accelerate progress, increase global ambition and motivate urgent, targeted action to protect climate-vulnerable countries from the impacts of climate change.”

The CARICOM SG praised Member States for their leadership in articulating ambitious revised Nationally Determined Contributions.  He noted however that SIDS ambition will not get us close to the 1.5 temperature goal and called for increased ambition by the international community. 

In signalling his concern he noted

What is also abundantly clear in the five years since Paris is that the Caribbean cannot afford the cost of the catastrophic consequences of climate change. We also cannot afford the cost of adaptation”

Dr. Colin Young, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in his remarks noted that CARICOM NDCs are in line with the Region’s negotiating position going into Paris. Analysis of the NDCs found that they are focused mainly on mitigation and generally reflect interventions in sectors with the greatest greenhouse gas emissions such as energy, agriculture and industrial processes and product use.

The Event featured presentations by H.E Pearnel Charles, Jr, Minister of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change Jamaica, H.E Silvano Tjong-Ahin, Minister of Spatial Planning and Environment  Suriname,  H.E Simon Stiell, Minister for Climate Resilience Grenada and  H.E Adrian Forde, Minister of Environment and National Beautification Barbados on their countries’ NDCs

H.E Hon. Ramon Cervantes, Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Immigration Belize, shared reflections on the accomplishments of Belize during their two-year tenure as Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).

Ramon Cervantes

All Ministerial interventions included pledges of support for the Government of Antigua and Barbuda as incoming chair of AOSIS taking over from the Government of Belize, the outgoing chair.

Brittany Meighan

The event was rounded out with presentations by the youth- a

statement by AOSIS Fellow, Brittany Meighan of Belize and a

Creative Performance by Deneka Thomas, Spoken Word Poet from Trinidad and Tobago.

Deneka Thomas
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