CARICOM negotiators push key issues as COP 21 releases draft agreement

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CARICOM negotiators review the draft agreement at COP 21 in France, Wednesday

As negotiators review a preliminary draft agreement issued Wednesday at the UN Climate Change conference, COP 21, in Paris, CARICOM Ministers and Heads of delegations are pressing for outstanding concerns to be adequately represented in the final outcome agreement, due on Friday.IMG_5061

At the top of the list is the long term temperature issue, on which CARICOM continues to stress that the goal should be to hold temperature rises to less that 1.5 degrees celsius and to insist that some of the alternative options proposed in the draft text were not acceptable. The Region rejected, in particular, the option to hold temperature increases to two degrees, stating that it has been established by the Structured Expert Dialogue that the 2 degree rise is too high.

The Region sees an option to target 2 degrees while recognizing 1.5, as an expression of sympathy. Instead, it notes that climate change threatens the Region’s survival and economic activity and it is seeking solutions to this threat.

The Region also noted the lack of agreement on recognition of the special circumstances of Small Island and low-lying Developing States (SIDS). The team has said that the special circumstances are real, have been recognized by the international community and world leaders, and are non-negotiable.

The CARICOM team also wants the text to recognize and respond to the fact that the SIDS, which bear the brunt of the adverse effects of climate change, have specific challenges with accessing finance especially for climate change adaptation and technology, given their capacity and scale of needs.

The team is also pressing for agreement on outstanding differences on the loss and damage issue, so that it can be a major feature of the outcome document. They were also concerned that the provisions in the text for compliance were very weak.

There was disappointment that the draft text does not anchor REDD Plus in the agreement. It was recommended that agreed COP decisions on REDD Plus is recognized and anchored in the Agreement as an accepted mechanism.

The CARICOM team welcomed the provision in the text for 5 year as opposed to longer global cycles, and is recommending that this is linked to the renewal o mitigation commitments.