For the small island developing states of the Caribbean, there is nothing more important than the United Nations Climate Change Conference taking place here at the national stadium of Poland from Nov. 11-22.
"We're being impacted by climate change right now. We have to fight sea level rise, we are looking at increases in the frequency and severity of storm events, so it's about survival," Hugh Sealy, vice chair of the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) Executive Board, told IPS.3
"In my humble opinion, and forgive me for being melodramatic, this is the most important decade facing mankind," said Sealy, a national of Grenada. "What we do in the next seven years will affect generations to come."
The CDM is the largest carbon market in the world. It has so far delivered more than 315 billion dollars in assistance to developing countries. It has launched more than 7,400 projects since 2004 and has saved the developed countries about three billion dollars in cost compliance. The CDM now has a regional collaboration centre at St. George's University in Grenada with two more centres in Lome and Kampala.
A new report released here shows that Haiti led the list of the three countries most affected by weather-related catastrophes in 2012. The others were the Philippines and Pakistan.
Germanwatch presented the ninth annual Global Climate Risk Index at the onset of the Climate Summit in Warsaw.
"The landfall of Hurricane Sandy in the U.S. dominated international news in October 2012. Yet it was Haiti - the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere - that suffered the greatest losses from the same event," said Sönke Kreft, team leader for international climate policy at Germanwatch and co-author of the index.
In the last two decades, the 10 most affected countries have without exception been developing nations, with Honduras, Myanmar and Haiti taking the brunt during the period 1993-2012, the report noted.
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During the past two weeks, Antigua & Barbuda, Nicaragua and Panama ratified the Escazú Agreement, giving a major boost to the unprecedented and innovative Latin American pact that seeks to reduce social conflicts and protect frontline communities in the world’s deadliest region for environmental defenders.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres outlined priorities for the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 26) during a briefing at UN Headquarters. The briefing was hosted by the UK, which will be assuming the COP 26 presidency in partnership with Italy. COP 26 is scheduled to convene from 9-20 November 2020, in Glasgow, UK.