CARICOM, Latin American nations to push collective agenda at global climate summit – President Ali

His Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali said Guyana has set up a technical working group among Kuwait, Latin America and CARICOM states, which will devise a cohesive strategy for the 26th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP26) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The event, which seeks to address the life-threatening effects of climate change and global warming, is scheduled for Glasgow, Scotland between October 31 and November 12, this year.

“COP26 is an important forum. The Vice President is working on issues relating to climate change and the environment in the context of the oil and gas industry. We are mobilising support around climate change and Guyana’s position. We had the opportunity to explain our position, to interact with other leaders and have a common agenda moving forward,” President Ali, articulated at a virtual press conference on Friday.

His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali, President of the Co-operative Republic of Guyana

The narrative of a unified approach to tackling climate change is one to which President Ali remains committed. Earlier this week, he said a renewed global effort was needed to fight climate change and urged the largest of emitters to commit to larger cuts on emissions than what exists in their current nationally determined contributions (NDCs).

The Head of State had told the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) Leaders’ Summit on the margin of the 76th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that Guyana supports the declaration that was adopted by the meeting.

President Ali stressed that Guyana will continue to constructively support the efforts of the AOSIS in promoting solutions ahead of COP26.

“The world must work together to scale-up efforts to adapt and mitigate the impacts of climate change to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement in limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius.”

He added that an urgent response must be made to provide financing for mitigation and adaptation, and align financial flows with low greenhouse gas emissions pathways, climate-resilient development and efforts to decarbonise economies.

“We believe that a coordinated and nuanced approach at the international level is necessary in considering forms of financing such as grants, based on a country’s vulnerabilities.”

The President had also said that there is a need for developed countries to honour their pledge of US$100 billion annually under the Paris Agreement, and to commit to unlocking simplified and direct access to concessional finance for climate-vulnerable economies through the use of a Multidimensional Vulnerability Index (MVI).

He had also urged that COP26 initiate a road map for a new collective global finance goal using US$100 billion as a baseline, and enact comprehensive strategies to increase financial resources for disaster risk reduction while making necessary investments to reduce hazard exposure and vulnerability to disasters.

Still on the issue of climate change, President Ali, in his address to the sixth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) last week, had explained that the regional bloc’s problems extend beyond structural issues and also include the existential threat of climate change. He said the regions will be given an opportunity to speak with a collective voice and stress the urgency of increased and readily available financing for mitigation, adaptation and resilient infrastructure at COP26.

“At COP26, a systemic approach in dealing with issues of the environment and climate change should be agreed on. This approach must speak to issues of access to resources, to address adaptation and mitigation, establishment of a climate vulnerability fund, and fulfilment of pledges made by the developed world.” Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo will be leading a delegation to this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference.

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