BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Finding ways to urgently increase access to affordable and adequate financing for climate action for the Caribbean will be the priority for Caribbean partners at the world’s foremost climate change conference, COP 27.
COP 27 or the 27th meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of Parties, gets started next week in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, running from November 6 to November 18.
Ahead of the meeting, regional stakeholders are preparing their pitch and push to get the Caribbean the financing required to adapt to the impacts of climate change which are already a lived reality for the people of the region.
On November 9, which is Finance Day at COP, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Organisation for Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission will jointly host a side event to draw attention to the challenges of climate change in the Caribbean and propose associated solutions.
The event is a panel discussion titled ‘Aligning Climate Finance Flows with Caribbean Countries’ Climate Resilience Needs’.
CDB president Dr Gene Leon, who will deliver the keynote address at the panel, explained the reason underpinning the discussion – the urgency of the challenges for the region which is already facing severe climate change impacts such as stronger and more frequent hurricanes, droughts and flooding.
“For us in the Caribbean, climate change is not theoretical or in the future, it is existential, and it is now. And the hard facts are that right now, the financing we receive is not adequate for the scale of the problem. Simply put – currently the challenges are too big, and the money is too small to make the changes we need to effect to be able to survive climate change.”
The panel will focus specifically on the New Collective Quantified Goal (NCQG) on climate finance. Launched at COP 26 in Glasgow last year, the NCQG is a two-year work programme which will produce recommendations for the post-2025 climate finance goal – which will be the successor to the current USD$100 billion per year commitment reinforced through the landmark Paris Agreement in 2015.
Discussions at the panel will explore how the NCQG is an opportunity to address some of the key constraints that have stymied climate finance to the Region and look at how it can better respond to Caribbean countries’ needs.
Speakers include Trinidad and Tobago’s minister of planning and Development, Pennelope Beckles, chief climate change expert at the European Investment Bank, Nancy Saich, CDB’s vice-president (operations) Isaac Solomon and ambassador Jeanine Felson, senior advisor on climate matters to the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and CARICOM.