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Guyana calls for regional unity on climate change
CASTRIES, St Lucia–Guyana has called on the Caribbean to continue to leverage “our extreme exposure to climate change” as it seeks to forge and advocate a common position on the matter. President Donald Ramotar, addressing the ceremonial opening of the 33rd Caribbean Community (Caricom) summit yesterday said that of all the vulnerabilities facing the region, none poses a more direct threat to the region’s existence than climate change.
He said that the summit, which is being attended by all of the 15 member countries, except the leaders of The Bahamas, Belize, and Montserrat, was being held immediately after the United Nations conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil.
He said that the international negotiations on climate change matters were “going much too slow while emissions are on an acceptably high trajectory and finance for adaptation and mitigation woefully inadequate. “We recognise that the Durban meeting established an adaptation mechanism, a technology mechanism and a green climate fund. But it is essential that agreement is reached by this year on the new and additional sources of financing for the fund and that a REDD plus window be established to reduce deforestation and incentivise forest conservation and sustainable forest management.”
He said that while the region supports a process to achieve a long-term global agreement through the Durban Platform, “we must uphold the principle of historical responsibility of some parties and the concomitant principle of common but differentiated responsibilities between developed and developing countries.”
He said that in much the same manner, the region exists in an international economic environment that is increasingly unpredictable and unhelpful to the circumstances of small states. Ramotar said as Europe struggle to find solutions to its economic and financial crisis, it is imperative for the region to discuss its own economic situation, lamenting the fact that several years after a new framework had been agreed upon, “we are back in St Lucia where the regional economy is still a main item on the agenda.
“We should not as a region, have to react to situations, but ensure that preventative measures are put in place. We must as a region be more earnest in our efforts to define a development agenda that is responsive to the evolving global circumstances we face and the domestic realities of our smallness and our vulnerabilities,” he added.
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