The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a grouping of twenty countries: fifteen Member States and five Associate Members.Stretching from The Bahamas in the north to Suriname and Guyana in South America, the CARICOM comprises states that are considered developing countries. The Caribbean Community (CARICOM), most of its Member States also being a part of the Non-Aligned Movement is committed to addressing the issue of climate change and has taken significant initiatives in this regard.
On March 3 2022, the CARICOM leaders met at Ambergris Caye in Belizeat the Fourth CARICOM/SICA (Central American Integration System) Summit. One of the central points of discussion at the Summit was the negative impact of the climate crisis. The CARICOM leaders stressed the significance of the Glasgow Climate Pact and the decisions adopted by the respective governing bodies of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, and the Paris Agreement.
The CARICOM acknowledged that the Glasgow Climate Pact establishes work programmes to strengthen the 2030 emissions reductions targets, to support measurable progress on the global goal on adaptation, and to determine a new collective goal on climate finance by 2024.
The CARICOM reiterated that limiting global warming to 1.5°C requires rapid, deep and sustained reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions, including reducing global carbon dioxide emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 relative to the 2010 level and to net zero around mid-century, as well as deep reductions in other greenhouse gases. The CARICOM underscored the need for an unequivocal political commitment that no effort shall be spared to strengthen emissions reduction targets of the major emitters as early as the end of 2022, and to enact the necessary measures to unlock and fast track the great potential of humanity, taking an urgent and systematic approach, in line with principles of the Paris Agreement, and ensuring accountability and transparency.
At the Ambergris Caye Summit, the CARICOM leaders affirmed that for the Caribbean, keeping global temperatures below 5°C is not an option, it is a matter of survival. They urgently call upon the international community to uphold its responsibility to protect the most vulnerable and maintain a central focus on the special case and particular circumstances of small island developing states (SIDS). The leaders further declared that “Securing a safe climate future for the Caribbean” will remain under close consideration of the CARICOM Heads of Government with a view inter alia to elaborating further on the regional roadmap from ambition to action with a focus on articulating regional needs and priorities, forging new partnerships across the whole of society, and, strengthening the CARICOM political engagement in multilateral processes to advance regional priorities.
The CARICOM Heads of Government outlined the following priorities for 2022 while endorsing Paris 2030 delivery agenda:
- At COP27 if not earlier, major economies plan for strengthened 2030 emissions reduction targets in line with the 1.5 °C Paris temperature goal and Low-emissions Development Strategies;
- Leading up to COP27, a US$100 billion finance dashboard progress report and at COP27, and during the High-level Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Finance, clarification on plans to scale beyond the floor of US $100 billion in the period through to 2025 taking into account the parity between adaptation and mitigation, and the additionality of loss and damage finance;
- Measures of progress on developed countries commitment to double adaptation finance from 2019 levels and to ensure that vulnerable countries are accessing and benefitting from these finance flows;
- Timely progress of technical work as called for in the Glasgow Climate Pact noting with appreciation the efforts of the COP Presidencies of the United Kingdom and of Egypt to accelerate the work programmes geared towards clear deliverables at COP27;
- A time-bound reform agenda for climate funds, multilateral development banks, and other finance providers to address SIDS access to grants and other concessionary finance arrangements in line with our urgent needs and priorities; and in this regard urge implementation and further elaboration of the call-to-action emanating from the second roundtable dialogue on SIDS and access to finance ;
- Allocation of an envelope of resources to SIDS under the Global Environment Facility Eighth Replenishment Process for capacity building and technology transfer including for the implementation of the enhanced transparency framework;
- Conclusion of elements for the full operationalization of Article 6 consistent with 1.5 °C ambition, accountability, transparency and environmental integrity. The CARICOM urged all leaders to confront the reality that climate change poses an existential threat to SIDS and that its impacts represent a “Code Red for Humanity” and thus require immediate, global action to reduce greenhouse emissions and provide accessible and affordable finance in line with the science to keep 1.5°C within reach.