The OECS is sending a strong message on the urgency to deal with climate change because of its effects on small island developing states, which is emphasized by an oversized print of a painting by Jonathan Gladding plastered on the wall of the CARICOM Pavilion at COP26. It portrays what will be the fate of OECS citizens if action is not taken now.
COP 26 seeks to achieve the following according to the official “COP26 Explained” document:
Secure global net zero by mid century and keep the 1.5 degrees within reach. Net zero is achieving a balance between the amount of greenhouse gases put into the atmosphere and the amount removed. Countries are being asked to come forward with ambitious 2030 emissions reductions targets (NDCs) that align with reaching net zero by the middle of the century. To deliver on these stretching targets, countries will need to accelerate the phaseout of coal, encourage investment in renewables, curtail deforestation and speed up the switch to electric vehicles.
Adapt to protect local communities and natural habitats – The climate is already changing, and it will continue to change even as we reduce emissions, with devastating effects. At COP26 we need to work together to enable and encourage countries affected by climate change to protect and restore ecosystems, build defences, put warning systems in place and make infrastructure and agriculture more resilient to avoid loss of homes, livelihoods and lives
Mobilize finance – To realise this goal, developed countries must deliver on their promise to raise at least $100bn in climate finance per year. International financial institutions must play their part and we need to work towards unleashing the trillions in private and public sector finance required to secure global net zero
Work together to deliver – Countries can only rise to the challenges of climate change by working together. At COP26 all must finalise the Paris Rulebook (the rules needed to implement the Paris Agreement) and turn ambitions into action by accelerating collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society to deliver on our climate goals faster.
COP26 is of a historic nature and has been called the conference that is uniting the world to tackle climate change.