PARIS — On the final day of the Paris climate summit, the CARICOM delegation seems certain that it will receive text in the Summit’s final outcome document that legally binds states to reduce global emissions to a level that will limit long-term temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius over current levels.

Earlier this week, CARICOM Secretary-General Irwin LaRoque addressed the Summit to emphasize that a long term temperature increase of 2 degrees Celsius – proffered by a group of developed countries – was too high. The draft Paris Agreement vacillated around multiple options, including: below 1.5 °C or well below 2 °C, but CARICOM has cited scientific reports which demonstrate that temperature rise over 1.5°C would be inimical to the survival of its Member States.

“The science is clear. The Structured Expert Dialogue has reported categorically that a goal of 2 degrees centigrade is too high. It is critical therefore that the increase be contained below 1.5 degrees centigrade. If that target is not attained, it would be beyond our capacity to adapt. For us in CARICOM that translates into a matter of survival,” Ambassador LaRocque told the meeting.

He capitalized on the opportunity to reinforce the Region’s other goals, stating that the Caribbean wishes to reiterate the need for an ambitious, high performance, legally binding agreement with universal participation.

Highly placed sources within the CARICOM caucus in Paris tell AMG that additional language on “loss and damage” – a provision that will see states compensated for the disadvantageous impacts of climate change – will be included in the final text. Our sources indicate however that negotiations are still continuing on how liability and compensation will be determined in the final text.

[tw-divider]What CARICOM wants[/tw-divider]
  • Recognition of, and provision for, the special circumstances of SIDS, as well as the prioritisation of their access to public grant-based financing. The criteria for access to such funding must also be based on vulnerability and not solely on GDP per capita;
  • Strengthened support for adaptation and scaled up financial resources with proportionate balance between mitigation and adaptation;
  • Recognition of Loss and Damage as a central element of the Agreement.
  • Reaffirmation of the contribution of Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD Plus) to mitigation efforts, also with adequate incentives and institutional and financial support for implementation.[tw-divider][/tw-divider]

The CARICOM caucus is adamant that the final outcome document must reflect the special circumstances and vulnerabilities of small island developing states, and says it will fight any attempt to further lower the level of ambition in the compromise agreements.

The final text is expected on Saturday morning.

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Antillean Media Group, News Desk

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