Bahamas Participates in Climate Change Meeting in Geneva

(via Bahamas Information Services)

The Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for enhanced Action (ADP) on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) met in Geneva, Switzerland from 8 – 13 February. The UNFCCC is designed to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases which adversely affect climate change. Ambassador Rhoda M. Jackson, Bahamas Permanent Representative in Geneva and Mr. Philip Weech, Director of BEST Commission represented The Bahamas.

The ADP centred discussions on elements for inclusion in the negotiating document to be adopted at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties (COP-21) scheduled to be held in Paris, France in December of this year. Among those issues discussed during the week were climate financing, adaptation, mitigation and support for technology and capacity building. For CARICOM, the issue of Loss and Damage is of critical importance to addressing adaptation and therefore, the region called for this issue to be treated separately, with a specific objective in the final Agreement and not as is currently, an appendage to adaptation.

CARICOM reiterated the need for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to access financing in order to address the negative impacts of climate change. The ADP is also tasked with developing a legally binding instrument in the form of a Protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome document with legal force applicable to all Parties to the Convention. The Bahamas, in its capacity as Chairman of CARICOM, coordinated informal bilateral meetings with the United States and Germany. CARICOM, as a sub-region plays an active role in the negotiating process through its participation in the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS,) a UN recognized grouping of 39 members. Maldives is the current AOSIS Chair.

The ADP agreed on the elements for a crucial document in the lead up to the Paris meeting in December, 2015 and is scheduled to convene 3 additional negotiating sessions, the first of which will be held in June in Bonn, Germany, where negotiations on the outcome document will begin in earnest.

At a briefing convened for Ambassadors in Geneva on Friday, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christina Figueres urged representatives to renew the call for political guidance at the national level and further underscored the need for a cross-sectoral approach to addressing climate change.

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