PM Roosevelt Skerrit meets Sultan Al-Jaber ahead of COP28, discuss climate action

The Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit, recently held a discussion with the President-Designate of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

During the meeting, the two leaders took the opportunity to interact with one another on the various issues and significant topics about the development of CARICOM and COP28. The two leaders discussed several areas of the scope and areas of cooperation between the two organizations.

Dr Skerrit, the chairperson of the Caribbean Community expressed his delight in getting the chance to engage with the President-Designate of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Barbados. Dr Sultan Al-Jaber was present at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of CARICOM and the 45th meeting of the heads of the state.

The prime minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica expressed that the Caribbean is among the most vulnerable areas when it comes to climate change. The issue of climate change has led to several discussions among the leaders of CARICOM. He claimed that the region is at the forefront of the crisis, which has become an existential threat.

Dr Roosevelt Skerrit asserted that while the Caribbean is facing the major brunt of the climate crisis, it is not of their own making. Accordingly, they need to team up with the international authorities to find a solution to the situation.

The chairman of CARICOM asserted that the scientific imperative of the climate crisis is clear. According to Dr Skerrit, the international community must collaborate to cut global emissions by 45% by 2030. The international stakeholders would also need to redouble their efforts to reach net zero by the year 2050.

However, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit asserted that they lack the political leadership required to deliver this mandate at the scale and speed necessary. The chairperson of CARICOM acknowledged that the world is experiencing several geopolitical challenges. However, this does not allow them to let up on pursuing ambitious climate actions.

Further, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit expanded upon the significance of Sultan Al-Jaber’s appointment as the COP28 President-designate. He claimed that the Caribbean will count on his leadership to ensure that COP28 is a COP of ACTION!

Accordingly, Dr Roosevelt Skerrit hoped that the 28th edition of the Conference of Parties would deliver critical political outcomes for the benefit of the Caribbean and the greater international community in their fight against climate change.

These include Global Stocktake, which will allow them to assess the adequacy of adaptation efforts. The critical climate action needs adequate financing, capacity building and technology transfer that the Paris Agreement has promised to deliver.

Further, Dr Skerrit believes that COP28 must lead to creation of an ambitious mitigation work programme. Under this programme, the developed countries and major economies must submit enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) aligned to the 1.5 pathway.

Prime Minister Skerrit also advocated for the operationalization and capitalization of the Loss and Damage fund. The fund will provide critical climate finance to the most vulnerable countries ravaged by climate change’s adverse impacts.

He further hoped that the COP28 would deliver a credible roadmap for doubling adaptation finance and adopting the Adaptation Framework. Additionally, he pushed for the selection of the host of the Santiago Network and a Work Program in Just Transition that will ensure equity, including mitigation and adaptation, and won’t leave any SIDS behind.

Zurab Kvaratskhelia

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