By Ingrid Fernandez, Staff Reporter
The Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (5Cs) attended the 21st Conference of the Parties held in Paris, France this week.
The team of delegates was led by the executive director of 5Cs, Dr. Kenrick Leslie. Deputy Director and Science Advisor of 5Cs, Carlos Fuller represented Belize at the convention.
The convention finished on Saturday night after overtime deliberations by the French Presidency of the COP, where they crafted an agreement compatible with all parties involved. One of the key interests of 5Cs is that the convention will be directed by scientific research.
5Cs was instrumental to ensure that the Caribbean region was well represented at the convention and prepared to engage in negotiations regarding what climate change issues mean to the region. With assistance from various partners, the center formatted a Declaration on Climate Change which was adopted by the CARICOM Heads of Government and was the blueprint for the region’s position for COP 21.
A Caribbean-wide pavillion showcased the regional countries’ vulnerability to climate change and the efforts they are undertaking to address climate change and to convene a strategy of adaptation to the effects.
Climate change is an issue that affects the entire world, regardless of the degree of environmentally damage emission any specific country purports into the environment. It was acknowledged at the convention that the adverse effects of climate change are already being felt all throughout the world. The impacts are just going to continue increasing if urgent action is not undertaken. Discussions arose on how to enable communities to adapt to extreme events precipitated by climate change.
Therefore, one of the primary agendas of the Convention was to “require all countries to undertake ambitious efforts to limit their emissions of greenhouse gases which are produced primarily by the use of fossil fuels and deforestation”, according to 5Cs statement.
The Paris Agreement commits all counties to limit global warming to as far below 2 degrees Celsius as possible striving to stave it off at 1.5 degrees.
Efforts will be made by developed countries which have the highest carbon footprint and emit the highest degree of environmental damage.
Developed countries have pledged to continue their efforts to contribute US$100 billion per year to assist developing countries to adapt to climate change effects. They also pledged to continue their contributions through 2025 and to emphasize on technology transfer from developed countries to developing ones.
Developed countries are required to report on the level of support they have provided and an indication of what they will provide, while developing counties will report on the support they require and what they have received.
The agreement binds all countries to participate in a transparency framework in which they will be required to report on the actions they have undertaken to meet the pledges they made for the next five years to help mitigate climate change effects.