CARICOM begins preparatory work for COP 28


The Caribbean Community has begun the Region’s work plan preparations for the upcoming Conference of Parties 28 (COP28) to be held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from 30 November until 12 December 2023.

Earlier in May, officials gathered for the first CARICOM negotiators’ preparatory meeting ahead of the COP28. The hybrid meeting was one of several engagements the Region is convening in the run-up to the Conference. The just-concluded meeting of the Council of Foreign and Community Relations (COFCOR) in Kingston, Jamaica, was one of the high-level engagements on preparing the CARICOM Roadmap. Another is the Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on the Environment and Sustainable Development which will be held in June. The second preparatory meeting of CARICOM negotiators will convene closer to COP 28 to finalise preparations and agree on shared positions.

Already, emerging areas of focus for the Region are an evaluation of the progress of the Paris Goals on adaptation, mitigation and means of implementation support; the work of the Transitional Committee on Loss and Damage Finance; reform of the global financial architecture; holding large emitters  to their net zero commitments and the provision of financing for just transitions in Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Dr. Mark Bynoe, Environmental Economist at the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5Cs) spoke at the opening of the meeting and expressed concern over what he called “another crisis that is fast becoming a catastrophe – climate change”.

“We have seen above normal temperature in India and Spain, increasing temperatures in Portugal, damages in Ethiopia and Pakistan and the continued loss of lives throughout the world. We need to have action, and we need it NOW! No more can we be nuanced. No more can we take a soft touch. No more can we seek to appease, hoping for a worthwhile outcome. The many who are suffering are depending upon us to find answers, come up with solutions and ease the pain and suffering of often the most vulnerable,” he pointed out.

In remarks at the opening of the meeting, CARICOM Assistant Secretary-General, Economic Integration, Innovation and Development, Mr. Joseph Cox, said a strong regional mechanism is built on strong and well-prepared negotiators; strong regional institutions to distill and craft regional approaches and priorities, and regular feedback to decision-makers.

Among the regional institutions at the meeting were the 5Cs, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), the Caribbean Meteorological Organisation (CMO), and The University of the West Indies (The UWI).

Stating that all hands needed to be on deck, the Assistant Secretary-General expressed the hope that the discussions would see “new and not so new negotiators taking up the mantle in leading for the Region and in support of AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) in some of the new areas including the Just Transition and the Agriculture Work Programme.”

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