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January 2018
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EDITO
Friday, 19 January 2018

Climate finance of all kinds now enjoys broad support and could be the ace up the sleeve of many developing countries ahead of the Paris Climate Conference (COP 21) . It has become clear that the success of the COP 21 hinges on the question of finance, without which the world will surely fail to wean itself off carbon. Developed countries have promised to provide $100 billion per year to help poor countries with the sustainable energy transition and to deal with the effects of climate change. This point took centre atsge at the recent IMF and World Bank meetings in Lima.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) is increasing its support for the development of green energy in the Eastern Caribbean. DFID has announced an agreement to contribute around $3.9 million USD to the Caribbean Development Bank’s Sustainable Energy for the Eastern Caribbean initiative. The program provides financing designed to advance sustainable energy solutions in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

A group of 30 agencies under the banner Somalia NGO Consortium warned that El Nino conditions are expected to severely hit the Horn of Africa nation during the rainy season. Oxfam’s Somalia Country Director Enzo Vecchio explained, “Thousands of people in Somalia are already feeling the effects of this super El Nino, seeing their crops fail, livestock stressed and the price of staple foods soar because of shortages (…) Such extreme weather events are only going to increase as climate change ramps up. We are likely to see floods in the coming weeks which risk devastating communities reliant on food aid for survival and pushing many more into crisis.”

Launched in 2011, the Green Climate Fund (GFC) was created four years ago during the COP in Durban (South Africa), with the aim of raising $100 billion per year from developed countries to help the developing world adapt to climate change by 2020. So far only has an annual budget of $700 million. The fund's executive director, Héla Cheikhrouhou has underlined that the GCF is in dire needs of funds and emphasizes that this could give the right signals before COP21 in Paris later this year. As host country of COP21, France has been particularly forthcoming with donations.

The new Belgian Ambassador to CARICOM Guy Sevrin met with CARICOM Secretary-General Ambassador Irwin LaRocque at the Headquarters of the regional body in Georgetown, Guyana. Belgian Ambassador Guy Sevrin noted that climate change and sustainable development “are vital issues for the planet”, but he did recognize that “There is no plan B for climate change.” According to a release from the Caricom Secretariat, Sevrin said that all countries must work together to save the planet from disaster.

The new Fairtrade Climate Standard is an add-on standard to Gold Standard certification of carbon emissions reductions and sustainable development benefits. The standard enables producers to improve their resilience to climate change, while also making their own contribution to reducing emissions. Additionally, producers receive a Fairtrade Premium for each credit sold: money to support them in the fight against the impacts of climate change in their communities.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Agricultural experts have warned against the practice of conventional agriculture, whereby the land is ploughed and the soil loosened before planting. According to the experts, it is not sustainable for the world's burgeoning population -- which the United Nations projects will reach 8.5 billion people by 2030, from 7.3 billion currently -- as it is putting a strain on land resources. Furthermore, the situation is worsened by the effects of climate change. Experts recommend soil management practices such as conservation agriculture, which increases productivity based on three principles -- minimal soil disturbance (reduced tillage), permanent soil cover (mulching) and crop rotation.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

The ACP Group announced concrete steps being taken to address the specific challenges of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), including the serious threats of climate change to people’s livelihoods, cultures, economic development, and even more critically, their survival in coming generations. Addressing leaders of the Pacific Island members of the ACP Group today, the ACP Secretary General H.E. Dr. Patrick Gomes said: “We fully share the concerns of the Pacific peoples regarding the existential threats posed by climate change."

Friday, 18 September 2015

In this EU document, the main unresolved issues associated with the divide between rich and poor nations are discussed. They include: i) Scope of the national pledges (INDCs); ii) Differentiation between developing and developed countries; iii) Climate financing (including loss and damage) Therefore, if climate talks are to succeed and lead to an ambitious agreement in Paris,  Parties need to overcome this divide one way or another.

The Luxembourg Presidency invited agricultural ministers to an informal Council meeting which had been intended to focus on agriculture and climate change. Discussions will deal with the EU response to low milk prices and available time for the discussion shall deal with how agriculture can best address the challenges of mitigating climate change. For this latter discussion, the Luxembourg Presidency prepared a background - entitled Towards Climate-Smart Agriculture -  which sets the scene for discussions between the Ministers in three working groups.