Amping up the
Climate Action Agenda
Highlights from the 44th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting
Five months ahead of the Caribbean Community celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Heads of Government continue to strengthen unified efforts on the climate change, climate finance and sustainable agriculture front. At the recently held 44th CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Nassau, The Bahamas regional leaders agreed to several actions and gained the support of Canada, whose Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in attendance
Some of the highlights were:
- Guyana’s President Dr. Irfaan Ali the Lead Head of Government for Agriculture and Agriculture Development presented a proposal entitled, “Building Food Security Through Innovation, Resilience, Sustainability and Empowerment”, which was accepted by member countries. Ali pledged US$2 million towards financing implementation for the project to the support of the Heads of Government. The proposal includes expansion of hydroponics or soil-less agriculture.
- Leaders agreed to embrace the Bridgetown Initiative for reform of the Global Financial Architecture and to advocate for its inclusion on the agenda at this year’s UN Climate Change Conference COP28. The Initiative is the brainchild of the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, to reduce disparities in international lending and borrowing between developed and middle income countries, ease the debt commitments of vulnerable countries especially during times of disaster, completely reform the World Bank and International Monetary Fund and provide funding or concessional lending for climate resilience. In advancing the cause of fair and equitable climate finance leaders also agreed to advocate for the development of vulnerability indices.
- Acknowledging the importance of oceans to the region, leaders also agreed to put this forward as an agenda item at COP28
- Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau announced a new fund to assist CARICOM countries with addressing climate change. The US $ 44.8 million dollar fund will “support projects within organisations like the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and the Caribbean Biodiversity Fund (CBF) to improve marine and coastal ecosystem management, increased water security and to help governments respond to climate change.”[hgc.caricom.org]
In July last year the Heads of government met ahead of the UN Climate Change conference, COP27 in November to ensure a unified voice in calls for a loss and damage fund and continued advocacy to change the global financial system. This year that unity seems to be cemented as CARICOM also makes plans for the 50th anniversary celebrations at the next Heads of Government meeting in Roseau Dominica this coming July.
Read the Communique issued at the conclusion of the 44th CARICOM Heads of Government Meeting here.