Island Nations Come Together to Speak with One Voice #ClimateChange

Small island nations are working together to ensure they have a collective voice at the upcoming United Nations Climate Conference which is to be held in Dubai.

Leaders from Caribbean nations have also come together to ‘amplify their voices on the global stage and emphasize their shared priorities.’

The Caribbean states published The Grenada Outcome Document – Second Caribbean SIDS High Level Dialogue on Climate Change

Amongst the key action areas is Loss and Damage: Demanding new and additional support of at least 100 billion USD annually to the Loss and Damage Fund to finance immediate reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in developing countries affected by extreme climate events.

See also: Loss and Damage Agreement Reached #COP27


The Latin America and the Caribbean Climate Week (LACCW) is taking place in Panama City, Panama, 23-27 October, bringing together representatives from local and national governments, Indigenous Peoples, civil society and the private sector to address climate challenges, inspire heightened ambition and contribute to the first global stocktake of the Paris Agreement – a crucial step to renew worldwide ambition at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) are confronting escalating climate impacts. This year has witnessed a series of extreme weather events across the region, including fires, droughts, floods and record-breaking temperatures, underscoring the region’s vulnerability to climate change.

The region, on the other hand, also holds the key to multiple climate solutions. The unique natural assets of Latin America and the Caribbean, such as forests, mangroves and coral reefs, serve as carbon sinks and natural defences against floods. LAC also stands out as a clean energy leader, with almost 60% of energy generated from hydroelectric power and significant potential for wind and solar energy.

Commenting about the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai, UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell said at the Opening of the New York Climate Week:

“Pre-Paris, we were focused on getting the agreement. Post-Paris, we were focused on agreeing the rules.

“It is only now, firmly in the era of transformation, where we are fully comprehending the truly gargantuan scale of finance necessary, all over the globe, to meet the commitments we collectively made to combat this climate crisis.

UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell at the Opening of the New York Climate Week. Image credit: Climate Group

And he continued:

“we have overrun ourselves with meetings, leaving minimal time in-between to do the crucial work of mobilising capitals to take the ambitious positions we need.”

Concluding his speech he said:

“More than ever, we need courage. We need leadership. We need stalwart COP presidencies that hunt for solutions and forge ambitious compromises. We need negotiators who take it on themselves to convince capitals of ambitious pathways.

“We need political leaders that dare to see beyond their elected term and invest in our present and future, not to satisfy immediate populist impulses.

“We need corporate leaders in the fossil fuel industry, in the financial sector and elsewhere who can challenge shareholders on destructive short-term gain, in favour of a longer-term vision of returns on investment for the planet.

“Friends, We can. We will. That is the attitude we need to bring to COP 28.”

Fiona Grahame

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