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Feb 11, 2016

Regional Technical Climate Change Professionals Meet in Belize

A high-level technical delegation from the region is currently in Belize. The group is finalizing a climate change framework in the wake of the Paris Agreement coming out of the Conference of Parties Twenty-One. The delegates are tightening the nuts and bolts of that agreement with specific focus on its impact on the region. On Friday, Ministers from CARICOM responsible for climate change will be in Belize to look at and discuss what will come out of today’s session with a view to signing on to the Paris Agreement. News Five’s Mike Rudon dropped in on the meeting today and has the story.  


Mike Rudon, Reporting

The Paris Agreement coming out of COP 21 is considered a milestone by Climate Change stakeholders, perhaps the first time when all countries have come together and have agreed on a way forward in mitigating the impact of climate change. The agreement is consequential, but before it is signed there are many technical framework issues which must be clarified.


Ann Gordon

Ann Gordon, National Coordinator, Climate Change Center

“What we are doing here is for us to analyze the Paris Agreement to see if our issues were addressed, to what extent, the gaps within the issues and the recommendations on the way forward. Although we arrived at a milestone when it came to the Paris Agreement, there are still challenges ahead where institutions were established. There are mechanisms and modalities that were formed and what we need to do now is to ensure that during the negotiations of those mechanisms and modalities that our concerns as CARICOM are still being addressed.”


A key player in the critical session being held today is Leon Charles, a member of the technical agency which provides support to Ministers and Senior Officials in Caribbean, Pacific and Less Developed Countries, called LDCs.


Leon Charles

Leon Charles, Member, High-Level Support Mechanism

“What we’re doing here now is really we’re starting the debriefing process where we’re going back through the agreement and we’re trying to make sure everybody is clear on what specifically has been agreed, and beyond that what does it mean for CARICOM countries, so we’re looking for example at what new obligations we have to undertake, what new tasks we have to work on going forward and how we implement the agreement at the national level so that we benefit nationally from the agreement.”


Climate change, its definition and its impacts, has been on the radar since 1989, but coming out of COP 21 stakeholders feel that an unprecedented momentum has been generated, and must be fostered at all costs.


Leon Charles

“This is the first time we got all countries agreeing to take action on climate change. It is important that the momentum which created the agreement now be maintained in terms of implementing the things which we agreed to…things like taking strong actions to limit emissions. We’ve gotten the agreement, for example, to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to no more than one point five degrees above pre-industrial times. That’s extremely important for the survival of the Caribbean countries, Pacific countries, low-lying countries and coastal cities, so that’s extremely important that we got that done. We got agreement on things like financing, capacity building and technology support and so on.”


Those agreements will have to be translated into concrete action at the national level, in communities where the actual impacts are being felt. There will be a high level meeting in New York in April where countries will ratify and sign the Paris Agreement. It is anticipated that at that session CARICOM countries will sign on as a block. Mike Rudon for News Five.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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