We introduce you to important concepts and themes that are to be central to COP23 and to Caribbean climate negotiations, with links to further information.

COP23

The UN climate summit COP23 will convene from 6 to 17 November 2017 in Bonn, Germany, under the presidency of the government of Fiji. This article provides an overview of key issues at stake and a summary of our expectations for the COP23. 

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1.5°C vs. 2°C

Since 2009 over a hundred Small Island Developing States, Least Developed Countries and many others have been calling for limiting global temperature rise to below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Placing the 1.5°C limit alongside the legally binding goal to hold global temperatures “well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels” in the Paris Agreement was a major victory for vulnerable countries.

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[DOWNLOAD] Caribbean Development Bank's 'The Caribbean Science Series - Volume 1' (PDF)

Loss & Damage

Loss and damage refers to irreparable losses (loss of lives, species, or land taken over by rising seas) and recoverable damages (damaged buildings, roads, power lines) — what happens when mitigation and adaptation fall short and climate disaster strikes.

At this point, no matter how much emissions are cut or how much we prepare for coming changes, there will still be significant loss and damage from climate change. It is the rich countries, which reaped the benefits of fossil fuel–powered growth, that are causing climate change and are best able to shoulder its costs, or compensation obligations for the effects of climate change.

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[ WATCH ] The Loss & Damage Explainer Video, by Dawn Pierre-Nathoniel

Mitigation, Adaptation & Resilience

There are two main policy responses to climate change: mitigation and adaptation.

Mitigation addresses the root causes, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Adaptation seeks to lower the risks posed by the consequences of climatic changes.

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Financing

Funds are critically needed to finance the transition to clean, renewable energy, to reduce emissions by developing appropriate technologies and transforming economies, and to cover the cost of adaptation. Small island developing states and other vulnerable countries and regions also stress the need for funding to compensate for “loss and damage”, i.e. the impacts of climate change that cannot be repaired.

At present there are two dedicated global financing instruments, namely the Green Climate Fund and the Adaptation Fund. For the Caribbean, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Caribbean Development Bank also serve as important sources of financing.

The issue of financing has been central to the discussions and negotiations at COP23. In this video, Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, Chairman of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) and lead Prime Minister for CARICOM in Sustainable Development and Climate Change, explains why the region has placed financing at the top of its negotiating agenda at COP23.

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