The success of the current climate change conference in Paris for small states will be judged by only two criteria: The limiting of global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, and firm and binding commitments by the industrialised nations to provide financing for adaptation and mitigation, without which small island developing states are in grave jeopardy. At the time of writing, the prospects for such success are not encouraging. It would be a travesty if the representatives of small states were to join the expected chorus of governments of industrialised nations that are expected to declare the conference a success even if they fail to deliver on curbing carbon emissions and on financing.
The European Union (EU) launched the GCCA+, its largest initiative to combat climate change in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable places, notably the group of Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. The Global Climate Change Alliance Plus, a flagship initiative and successor of the GCCA, will allocate around €350 million over a seven-year period (2014-2020) – in addition to private and national public investments. The official launch, held in Brussels on 29 October, comes at a historic moment. In December leaders from around the world will gather in Paris for the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, to agree a treaty tackling the 21st century’s most pressing issue.
Relevant Decisions, Resolutions and Declarations passed during the 102nd session of the ACP Council of Ministers, 24-25 November 2015 in Brussels, Belgium
We, the Council of Ministers of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP Group), meeting in Brussels Belgium on 24th and 25th November 2015; 1. Reaffirm that the adverse impacts of climate change poses immediate and long-term significant risks to sustainable development efforts and threatens the very survival of the 79 developing countries, including 48 from Africa, 16 from the Caribbean and 15 from the Pacific, that make up the ACP Group.
The African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group says it wants a "legally binding agreement" to be adopted when the global community meets in Paris later this month for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21). ACP Secretary General Dr Patrick Gomes will be heading a delegation to the November 30 to December 11 conference and, according to a document released here, the ACP states that "the adverse impact of climate change remains the single greatest challenge to the sustainable livelihoods, security and well-being of our people.
Zambian Communication and Transport Minister Kapembwa Simbao says SADC member states need to address bottlenecks of non-tariff barriers to facilitate smooth flow of trade in the region. And Mr Simbao says climate has become part and parcel of national development plans which calls for more investment to mitigate its effects. He says Zambia and Zimbabwe are facing one of the worst effects of climate change which has seen the rapid decrease of water levels in Lake Kariba.
An issue paper adopted by the ACP Group’s Sub-committee on Sustainable Development will serve as the basis of a common ACP position at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP21 in Paris this December. Essentially, the document reaffirms the view that climate change is the single greatest challenge to the sustainable livelihoods, security and well-being of African, Caribbean and Pacific peoples, posing immediate and long-term significant risks to sustainable development efforts. Climate change threatens the very survival of the 79 developing countries that make up the ACP Group.
Natural formations are amongst the most exposed to the effects of climate change and the risk of submersion. Moreover, the atolls of the Pacific are amongst the least well-known and often forgotten in international negotiations. In the run up to COP21, the French Development Agency commissioned a study at the end of 2014 which aims to identify and compare the factors that determine social and environmental resilience. The results from the studies of Micronesia, Kiribati and the archipelago of Tuamotu (French Polynesia) were presented at the Infopoint.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Caribbean Development Bank have signed a letter of intent to strengthen future co-operation. EIB Vice President Pim Van Ballekom said:"We are recognising the need to support investment to Climate Change issues because the Caribbean islands are quite vulnerable to this." The EIB shall open an office in Barbados in the coming months, which will foster working closely with the EU Delegation both in Barbados and the neighbouring islands.
Lies Craeynest, Oxfam EU policy advisor on climate change and global food security explains that keeping global temperatures from rising by more than two degrees will cost a lot, but the world’s poorest countries should not have to suffer in order for the bill to be paid. Craeynest notes that even if world leaders in Paris agree to commit to limit global warming to two degrees, large sums of financial support will be needed to adapt to the inevitable consequences of climate change: Africa is expected to face costs of $50 billion a year by 2050 under a two-degree scenario – that is equivalent to half of all today’s aid.