A legally binding agreement that keeps global temp. below 1.5°C above preindustrial levels
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STATEMENT OF SUPPORT for CARICOM NEGOTIATORS from the people of Saint Lucia as they represent the interests of present andfuture generations of Saint Lucians and SIDS at the twenty-first conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 21)Paris, France, November to December 2015.
(Prepared by the Caribbean Youth Environment Network – Saint Lucia Chapter for review and signature by citizens of Saint Lucia and Small Island Developing States [SIDS])
The Caribbean Youth Environment Network is a Non-Governmental Civil Society Organisation with a very active chapter in Saint Lucia for over a decade. Noting the significance of climate changein determining the future viability of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and the impacts on present and future generations, which include, increasing water and food shortages, prolonged droughts, devastating floods, adverse impacts on biodiversity, more category IV and V hurricanes and loss of life; the CYEN members prepared a project proposal which was submittedto the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme United Nations Development Programme (GEF SGP UNDP), and subsequently approved. The project focuses on building support for the negotiating interests of Saint Lucia and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) at COP 21.
The principal and most critical negotiating point for Saint Lucia and SIDS is to ensure that the quantum of global Green House Gas (GHG) emissions entering the environment remain at levels which will keep future increases in global temperature well below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. With temperatures already approaching 0.8°C and the increasing incidence of droughts and impacts of hurricanes and metrological events since 2000 (recalling Hurricanes Ivan in Grenada in 2004 and Tomas in Saint Luciain 2010; the 2013 Christmas Trough in Saint Lucia; and Tropical Storm Ericka in Dominica in 2015), CYEN has concluded that climate change is the single greatest existential threat to the survival of Saint Lucia and other SIDS. CYEN postulates that any increases in temperature beyond 1.5°C will relegate the economies of SIDS to unrelenting cycles of disasters and therefore compromise the future quality of life of all young people.
Based on consultations held in communities in Saint Lucia in October 2015, CYEN concluded that there was a great awareness of climate change issues and a genuine fear and concern about its impacts. CYEN has also determined that there is significant support for the interests of Saint Lucia and SIDS which will be championed at COP 21.
CYEN therefore calls upon all Saint Lucians and citizens of SIDS to sign this statement, which will serve as a resounding mandate for Ministers and negotiators to promote a global call to the people of the world to recognize their membership of the earth with other species and the integrated and interdependence of the biosphere and economies. More specifically, CYEN calls upon Saint Lucians wherever they may be, within Saint Lucia and the diaspora, and the citizens of SIDS, to call for the inclusion of the following specific requirements in the Paris Agreement, as recommended by CARICOM experts on Climate Change:
- A binding legal agreement to keep global temperatures well below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels;
- A strong commitment to implement mitigation strategies and plans with mandatory independent monitoring and reporting. This also means a commitment to prepare, submit and achieve the goals and objectives contained in the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC)Report from each country;
- Global Reporting on mitigation benchmarks by countries regularly,with a comprehensive global review at leastevery 5 years;
- Inclusion of loss and damage in the Paris Agreement, separate and apart from adaptation;
- Continued and increasing financial support for climate change adaptation and mitigation actions in SIDS and Developing Countries and the assurance of achieving and sustaining the target of US$100 billion per year by 2020;
- Continued recognition of the special circumstances of SIDS, particularly their vulnerability; and
- Sustained recognition of the principle of common but differential responsibilities.
Finally, CYEN recalls the Saint Lucia Youth Declaration on climate change which was presented by the Minister of Sustainable Development of Saint Lucia at the Samoa SIDS Conference in 2014, and reiterates a call to all Saint Lucians and citizens of SIDS to recognize the threatsposed by climate change and to ACT NOW. Our survival depends on countries of the world immediately bridging the gap between words and deeds.
CYEN Saint Lucia presents this statement for consideration and signature by ALL citizens of Saint Lucia and SIDS, and also to citizens from other countries who are in support of the SIDS agenda, where ever they may be.
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