Qué dijeron las voces del Caribe en la COP 26


Primera ministra de Barbados denuncia la «inmoral» pérdida de vidas por la inacción climática

El incumplimiento por los países ricos de su promesa de aportar 100.000 millones de dólares anuales a partir de 2020 para ayudar a las naciones vulnerables al cambio climático conlleva una «inmoral» pérdida de vidas, denunció el lunes la primera ministra de Barbados.

Los efectos de sequías, olas de calor, inundaciones e incendios forestales atizados por el calentamiento «se miden en vidas (…) en nuestras comunidades, y eso, amigos míos, es inmoral e injusto», afirmó Mia Mottley ante los más de 120 líderes mundiales reunidos en Glasgow para una cumbre previa a las negociaciones climáticas de la COP26.

Decenas de pequeños estados insulares y grandes ciudades de baja altitud en todo el mundo están, además, expuestos a la amenaza de las supertormentas agravadas por el aumento del nivel del mar.

Las naciones ricas se comprometieron en 2009 a aportar 100.000 millones de dólares anuales para ayudarles, pero el objetivo no se cumplió en la fecha fijada de 2020.

La semana pasada presentaron un calendario revisado para alcanzarlo en 2023.

Estos retrasos y el hecho de que la mayor parte de los fondos se concedan en forma de préstamos en lugar de donaciones agravó la división entre los países desarrollados y los países en desarrollo.

«¿De verdad vamos a irnos de Escocia sin los resultados y las ambiciones necesarias para salvar vidas y nuestro planeta?», preguntó Mottley con la voz indignada.

«¿Estamos tan cegados y endurecidos que ya no logramos escuchar los gritos de la humanidad?», agregó.

«Para quienes tienen ojos para ver, para quienes tienen oídos para escuchar y para quienes tienen corazón para sentir, 1,5ºC es lo que necesitamos para sobrevivir», subrayó en referencia al objetivo acordado en 2015 de limitar el calentamiento global a +1,5 grados centígrados respecto a la era preindustrial.

Según un informe de la ONU presentado la semana pasada, incluso si se cumplen las nuevas promesas de reducción de emisiones de carbono presentadas antes de la COP26, se produciría un calentamiento «catastrófico» de +2,7ºC.

«Nuestra gente, el mundo y el planeta necesitan nuestra acción ahora, no el año que viene, ni en la próxima década», insistió Mottley.


Barbados: PM says SIDS do not need death sentence

Prime Minister Mia Mottley Monday urged the international community to agree to a 1.5 degree Celsius mark regarding the environment warning that anything higher than that would constitute a “death sentence” for countries in the Caribbean and other Small islands Developing States (SIDS).

“Two degrees is a death sentence for the people of Antigua and Barbuda, for the people of the Maldives, for the people of Dominica and Fiji, for the people of Kenya and Mozambique and yes, for the people of Samoa and Barbados.

We do not want that dreaded death sentence and we are here to say try harder,”Mottley told the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 26, taking place here until November 12.

The global average air temperature may rise by more than 1.5 degree Celsius mark over pre-industrial levels between 2021 and 2040, according to the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released on August 9, 2021.

To reach a 1.5-degree pathway, new cultivation approaches would need to prevail, leading to a 53 percent reduction in the intensity of methane emissions from rice cultivation by 2050. Finally, about one-third of global food output is currently lost in production or wasted in consumption.

Mottley told the ceremony that because small states are increasingly vulnerable to the worst effects of climate change, increased global temperatures will impact these smaller, developing countries first.

“We can work with who is ready to go because the train is ready to leave (and) those who are not yet ready we need to continue doing circles and to remind them that their people, not our people, but their citizens need them to get on board as soon as possible,” Mottley said.

“For those who have eyes to see, for those who have ears to listen and for those who have a heart to feel 1.5 is what we need to survive,” she said, reiterating that two degrees “is a death sentence”.

She called on the international community to “try harder because our people, the climate army, the world, the planet needs our action now, not next year, not in the next decade”.

Several Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders are attending the conference as countries work towards the global goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. If this limit is exceeded, scientists have predicted that worsening climatic events will threaten people’s lives, livelihoods and food systems.

Among the actions being advocated for are the reduction in gas emissions from burning fossil fuels like oil, speeding up a transition to the use of more renewable sources of energy (such as solar and hydro energy) and adequate financing to help small, developing countries to become more resilient to climate change.

UN Secretary General, António Guterres in a blunt message to the COP 26 said “the six years since the Paris Climate Agreement have been the six hottest years on record. Our addiction to fossil fuels is pushing humanity to the brink.

“We face a start choice. Either we stop it – or it stops us”, he added, delivering five key messages to world leaders.

“Enough of brutalizing biodiversity, killing ourselves with carbon, treating nature like a toilet, burning, and drilling and mining our way deeper.”

“We are digging our own graves”, Guterres said, adding that our planet is changing before our eyes from melting glaciers, to relentless extreme weather events.

He reminded that sea-level rise is double the rate it was 30 years ago, that oceans are hotter than ever, and that parts of the Amazon Rainforest now emit more carbon than they absorb.

“Recent climate action announcements might give the impression that we are on track to turn things around. This is an illusion”, he stated, referring to the latest report on national plans to reduce emissions, known as NDCs, which indicates that even when fully met, the result would still condemn our world to a “calamitous” 2.7- degree increase.

“And even if the recent pledges were clear and credible – and there are serious questions about some of them – we are still careening towards climate catastrophe. So, as we open this much anticipated climate conference, we are still heading for climate disaster.”

Guterres urged nations to build coalitions to create the financial and technological conditions to accelerate decarbonization of the economy and the phase out of coal.

Barbados Today

Guyana: President Ali’s full statement to COP26 global climate conference

THE fate of civilization resides in the decisions we make here in Glasgow. The climate crisis has issued us an ultimatum: either we take immediate and drastic action or subject ourselves to an infernal global disaster.

Indifference and inaction will be costly. Already, we are far behind in limiting temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The coming decade therefore must be the decade of decisive action.

Climate change affects us all – rich, poor, developed, and developing States – but its effects are more severe on the poorest and most vulnerable – especially Small-island Developing States (SIDS) and low-lying coastal States. For us, it is a question of survival.

We can use this Summit to change the present trajectory. Immediate action is needed on three fronts:

  • First, we must set more ambitious goals to reduce emissions, and we must honour, to the letter, those ambitions. All countries have an obligation to act but the world’s foremost polluters have a greater duty to institute steeper emission cuts.
  • Second, the pledge of US$100B per annum, made one decade ago, to support climate action must be met. Dishonoured pledges are a recipe for disaster.
  • Third, forests constitute a powerful arsenal in the fight against climate change. Forest-rich countries must be provided with the incentives necessary to keep their forests intact and to reduce deforestation and forest degradation.

Mindful that deforestation contributes 16% to annual global emissions and in recognition of the ecosystem and climate services provided by forests, it is imperative that we finalise the rules for carbon markets and REDD+ so as to properly value tropical forests and the climate services which they provide.

  • My country, Guyana is already playing its part in addressing climate change and will continue to do so.
  • We will maintain our forests – almost the size of England and Scotland combined, storing 20 Gigatons of carbon – as a global asset.
  • We will work with local communities in conserving, protecting, and sustainably managing our forests, biodiversity, and freshwater supplies.
  • We will decouple economic growth and emissions through a progressively cleaner energy mix, with the aim of reducing our carbon emissions by 70% by 2030.
  • We will invest in low carbon opportunities for jobs, ecosystem services, and social inclusion through an expanded Low Carbon Development Strategy.

We are at a historic moment in our civilization. History must not judge us as having only counted our losses. It must instead herald our efforts to confront one of our Planet’s greatest threats – climate change.

In this regard, Guyana is prepared to work with the international community for collective action. We support the position of CARICOM and are aligned with the Alliance for the Small Island States (AOSIS), the Community of Latin America, and the Caribbean States [CELAC], the Leticia Pact, the DHAKA-Glasgow Declaration, and the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forest and Land Use, among others.

Though we recently became an oil producer, we support the removal of subsidies from fossil fuel production and advocate a strong global carbon price.

Let future generations say – when it mattered the most, we made a difference.

I thank you.

Guyana Chronicle

Trinidad y Tobago: PM Rowley Appeals For “A Healthier Salvageable Planet Earth” At COP26

Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley opened his statement at the World Leaders Summit on Climate Change in Glasgow, Scotland, saying the world is at a pivotal point in the history of mankind.

He said the August Report 2021 on the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change has presented a sobering outlook for all.

The Prime Minister says that financing to deal with the problem is an important point in the discussion in tackling loss and damage as a result of climate change.

Prime Minister Rowley said that smaller countries will need help going forward to reach the required standards of change in the new standards for climate.

TTT News

Belice: Prime Minister Hon. John Briceño tells UN Climate Change summit, “Without the reef, Belize’s economy could crumble.”

During the opening day of the 26th UN Climate Change summit, also known as the Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow, Scotland, UK, Prime Minister Honorable John Briceño called on developed countries to take immediate and ambitious action to save the planet. Briceño pointed out that developed countries must not only deliver but increase their commitments to climate finance. The prime minister highlighted how Belize’s natural resources are impacted by the effects of climate change and called on those responsible for emitting high greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

Prime Minister Briceño started his national statement by emphasizing that climate change is a great challenge for humanity, devastatingly impacting everyone’s lives, particularly those most vulnerable. He highlighted that Belize is home to the second-largest barrier reef system in the world, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. “But here is the sad reality, coral bleaching, stress doubled from 1.7 in the period 1985 to 2014 to severe level three between 2014 and 2017,” said Briceño. “The reef is dying and maybe beyond the point of full restoration.” This Belizean natural wonder was described as a great contributor to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (approximately 40%) and the main driver of the tourism industry. “Without the reef, Belize’s economy could crumble,” Briceño pointed out. “Our people’s lives could forever change.” Before an audience of leaders from the most developed countries known as G-20, Briceño blamed human-induced climate change as a threat to Belize’s barrier reef while the Jewel is doing its part to minimize the impacts.

Climate Change impact on Belize’s economy

Briceño noted that Belize’s annual losses from extreme weather events are now approaching 4% of GDP. This has led to an unsustainable debt load for disaster recovery and is becoming an unbearable cost. He let the world know that over 60% of Belize’s landmass is covered with forests, and over 40% of this has been set aside for conservation and biodiversity. On the marine side, about 15% has been placed as protected areas. “Both on land and in the sea, we have exceeded conservation targets,” said Briceño. He then went to inform the audience about the historic and most significant Blue Bond transaction ever. This includes a US$360 million-dollar debt [relief] for marine conservation transactions and established a permanent US$100 million-dollar marine conservation trust fund. “We will increase our marine protected/biodiversity zones by 30% by 2026, four years ahead of our target,” said Briceño. “And we will place all our remaining public lands in the Belize Barrier Reef Reserve System under protection.”

The country is proud of its conservation record, but according to Briceño, all will be lost if the countries of the G-20 abdicate their responsibility to act. The actions of developed countries place the world at risk of global warming, close to an increase by three degrees. Briceño said that these same countries account for three-quarters of global emissions and 80% of the global GDP. These countries reportedly channel trillions of dollars toward fossil fuels while shrinking their commitment to delivering a minimum of US$100 billion per year to combat climate change. “This is negligence; we need to get serious,” demanded Briceño. “US$100 billion per year can now only serve as the baseline. Funding for adaptation must dramatically increase at a minimum. Developed countries need to more than double public finance adaptation.” He cited the need to move from carbon trading to carbon emission reduction mechanisms with rules that apply to everyone.

One of the goals is to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, but it should not be an excuse for developed countries to get off the hook by beginning to reduce emissions by 2030. Briceño marked that Belize has heard enough talk, has been disappointed, and Belizeans are skeptical of the promises. The prime minister stated that every dollar Belize spends on climate action G-20 countries undo multiple times with the trillion invested in oil, coal, and gas. “Every step forward we make in development it is easily reversed by the failure of G-20 countries to act in line with the Paris Agreement promise of limiting global warming to 1.5 Celsius,” he said. Briceño ended by saying that Belize is taking ambitious actions, but there are other countries (developed ones) with a bigger duty to act.

Prime Minister Briceño leads a delegation of thirty Belizeans from different ministries and governmental departments like the Ministry of the Blue Economy and Civil Aviation, Finance, Attorney General, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The prime minister will remain in Scotland for the week, participating in bilateral meetings and discussions. He is expected to return to Belize on Saturday, November 6th, while the rest of his delegation will stay until the end of the summit, November 12th.

San Pedro Sun

Bahamas: Pm Tells Cop26: Do What Is Needed, Not What You Can Get Away With

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis called on world leaders to take concrete action on climate change as he spoke at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday.

He said The Bahamas is among one of the top ten most vulnerable island nations in the world due to climate change but is not the cause of the crisis.

He called on world leaders to take specific action and make concrete policy changes to tackle the issue.

“Do what is needed, not what you can get away with,” Mr Davis said during a speech at COP26’s World Leaders Summit.

“Turn promises to small island developing states into action.”

For more on this story, see Wednesday’s Tribune.

Tribune 242

Mensaje del primer ministro de Santa Lucía en la COP 26

Jamaica: PM Holness Among Caribbean Leaders Who Issued Call To Action At COP26 Summit: “Act Now To Save The Planet”

Three Caribbean Prime Ministers, including Jamaica’s Andrew Holness and Barbados’s Mia Mottley, pleaded with world leaders to act now to save the planet on the opening day of the Glasgow world summit on climate change.

Prime Minister Holness urged them to give climate change the same level of urgency they gave to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The nations of the world are gathered to chart the way forward to keep global warming to below 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2030.

According to scientists breaching this threshold could have disastrous impacts on the planet’s ability to sustain humanity.

Prime Minister Holness, told the assembly that large polluters must do their duty in order to prevent this existential crisis.

Chevon Campbell has the first of two reports on the conference.

No one is safe until everyone is safe.

The prime minister says this statement applies equally to climate change as it does the pandemic.

Failure by world leaders to commit to tackling the climate emergency could trigger very difficult geopolitical events including mass migration and major food and water shortages.

The prime minister says the pandemic has shown the type of response needed.

Mr. Holness says climate change has disproportionately affected small islands such as Jamaica the most.

This could result in more adverse weather events and threats to agriculture and tourism which are Jamaica’s economic anchors.

The island has already noted an up-tick in tropical storm activity in recent years along with increased incidence of flooding which has cost the government coffers billions.

Mr. Holness says there’s a great need for equity where large polluters must commit to doing their fair share.

Prime Minister Holness says just as Jamaica has shown its commitment to addressing the crisis, other nations must do the same.

Nation Wide Radio JM

Antigua y Barbuda: PM Browne. We are in the last decade for action on climate change

ntigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has called on large industrialised countries to increase their support to small island developing states, which have been significantly impacted by climate change.

Browne made the call as he addressed the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), which he chairs.

Browne noted that AOSIS members contribute less than one per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions but have been on the receiving end of most of the devastating impacts of climate change.

Antigua and Barbuda and Tuvalu recently signed an agreement that would allow AOSIS members to take legal action against large polluting states.

“We hoped that no one would have had to come to such a position but our very existence now depends on urgent action to our perilous situation,” he said.

He called for talks on compensating small states for damage and loss due to climate change to be addressed separately from the issue of mitigation and adaptation efforts.

Browne chastised the leaders of industrialised nations for not holding up to their commitment from over a decade ago to provide 100 billion in assistance to nations most affected by climate change while they provided billions in subsidies to the fossil fuel industry.

He noted that loans to Small Island Developing States (SIDS) have increased during that time with “inconsiderate and wrongful” conditionalities such as per capita income.

“These conditionalities should not be applied to climate finance and SIDS accessibility to finance should be based on vulnerability,” he remarked.

Browne urged world leaders not to squander the last opportunity available to address climate change.

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