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At Climate Talks, Caribbean Seeks to Refine ‘Loss and Damage’ While Fears of U.S. Exit Loom

LADB Article ID: 80145
Category/Department: Region
Date: 2016-11-17
By: Gregory Scruggs

Caribbean delegates at the UN Conference of the Parties meeting (COP 22)––the first since the adoption of the landmark Paris Agreement on climate change––were eager to refine key aspects of the accord, notably around the financial provision of “loss and damage.” But those conversations, held in Marrakesh, Morocco, were overshadowed by the election of Donald Trump to the US presidency. Trump’s avowed belief that climate change is a hoax and his campaign promise to abrogate the US ratification of the Paris Agreement have raised deep concerns in the Caribbean, a region that views climate change as an existential threat. The US election came just one day after the opening of the two-week conference sponsored by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which took place Nov. 7-18. Following last year’s breakthrough adoption of the Paris Agreement, which for the first time showed international consensus on how to reduce global carbon emissions, COP 22 was expected to be a more technical meeting on how to actualize many aspects of the convoluted agreement. For the Caribbean region––increasingly at risk of sea-level rise and a higher frequency of extreme weather events like hurricanes––the so-called “loss and damage” section of the document was of key importance.

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