A section of participants at the negotiation meeting.

Minister with responsibility for Environment, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, informed climate change stakeholders that decisions taken in preparation for the Conference of Parties 25 (COP25) — slated for Dec. 2-13 in Santiago, Chile — must be informed by science while chairing the CARICOM Regional Preparatory Meeting in advance of the event Friday at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort.

“I would like to encourage all of us here today to continue to place science at the forefront of all our efforts and positions for this upcoming Conference. The science is clear, compelling and not negotiable. It has inspired countless movements around the world in support of more stringent climate action by governments, businesses and all other actors. It is our duty and responsibility to continue to insist that it take its rightful place in the context of our political discussions,” said Minister Hamilton.

“I also understand that this upcoming Conference will be key in maintaining the focus on securing improved National Determined Contributions (NDCs) next year, as a first step, in line with accelerated climate action required to stay within the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit for global warming. We need to remain focused on this objective. Our discussions today should be situated firmly within this context,” he added.

NDCs outline the intended efforts of each country signatory to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in particular their efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris signed the Paris Agreement on behalf of the Federation on Earth Day in April 2016.

“Even though our contribution to overall global greenhouse gas emissions is negligible, St. Kitts and Nevis has submitted an NDC under the Paris Agreement, which proposes to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 22 and 35 percent by 2025 and 2030 respectively,”Minister Hamilton said. “Climate change has long been a priority issue for the region, with good cause, given our well-established vulnerability to climate change impacts. Nevertheless, as our countries confront the increasingly costly, unpredictable, and deadly impacts of climate change, this issue is taking on a more pronounced role in the daily lives of our people.”

Regional Climate Change Negotiators Prepare for Major International Climate Change Conference

Regional Climate Change Lead Negotiators of the Alliance of Small Island Developing States (AOSIS) convened October 15-16, 2019 to reflect on AOSIS’s priorities going into the Climate Change Conference of Parties 25 (COP25).

The meeting was also geared towards strengthening the group’s position in specific areas, and strategizing in order to achieve the group’s objectives for COP 25 and beyond. Over 30 participants from the Caribbean Region, including Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago, were in attendance.

Immediately following the coordination meeting was the CARICOM Technical Meeting Oct. 17. The Technical session was chaired by Ms. Cheryl Jeffers, Conservation Officer in the Department of Environment.

“Although St. Kitts and Nevis is not a major contributor of greenhouse gases, we are at the frontline of climate change impacts. It is therefore necessary for us to be involved in the discussions to ensure that the urgent call to reduce greenhouse emissions remains at the centre of the negotiations,” said Ms. Jeffers, noting the meetings were “significantly important.”.

The meetings were supported by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and the CARICOM Secretariat, in collaboration with Climate Analytics and Charles & Associates, which both have been providing real-time technical support to the region at negotiations and intersessional meetings for over the past eight years.

Ms. Jeffers said COP25 will be another important session in the international climate change negotiations. Strong engagement by CARICOM countries at COP25 will be critical, given the importance of building momentum on climate action and finalizing elements of the Paris Agreement Work Programme that were not completed at COP24 in Katowice, Poland.

articipants were reminded during last week’s discussions and presentations every fraction of a degree of additional warming matters, and a drastic step-change is needed in the short-and medium-term on climate change action at a global level.