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Conference in Germany To Examine What Role Climate Change Played In This Season’s Hurricanes

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BONN — A delegation from the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) has arrived at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Germany.

While at the event, which runs until November 17, the Bank will join other regional stakeholders in reiterating the urgent need for climate action and resilient recovery in the Caribbean.

Against the backdrop of this year’s devastating hurricane season, CDB will also underscore its commitment to mobilizing highly concessionary resources for regional countries to tackle the impacts of climate change.

“We are pleased to add our voice to the global conversation on climate action, given the vulnerability of the low-lying and coastal states in the Caribbean Region.

At COP23, our priority is to continue to draw attention to the very real challenges our small states are facing as a result of climate change; to strengthen partnerships to combat those challenges; and to further engage stakeholders as our Region seeks to ‘build back better’,” said Warren Smith, President of CDB.

While in Bonn, the Bank will sign a $24 million agreement with the European Investment Bank for post-disaster reconstruction. It is an addition to the $120 million Climate Action Framework Loan II signed in May this year.

The President will speak at a session titled, Confronting the 1.5 Degree Challenge and Accelerating NDC Implementation in the Caribbean at which technical experts will present scientific evidence on the implications for the Region if global warming reaches or exceeds 1.5 degrees Celsius.

In addition, Smith is scheduled to deliver remarks at the following high-level events:

How SIDS are planning for and implementing mitigation actions to achieve NDC targets, hosted by the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Government of the Republic of Fiji; COP Presidency Event, Towards a Resilient Future: Frontiers of Risk Sharing, convened by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji and President-designate of COP23, Hon. Frank Bainimarama in cooperation with the Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Germany, Dr. Gerd Müller; and Champions for Climate Action: The NDC Partnership, hosted by the Partnership and its co-chairs, the Governments of the Federal Republic of Germany and the Kingdom of Morocco. During his visit to Bonn, Smith is scheduled to hold meetings with officials from the Government of Germany to discuss Germany-CDB relations as well as opportunities for increased collaboration and partnership.

The Bank’s delegation at COP23 is being led by the President and includes Johanna Brueggemann, Director for Germany to CDB; Dorla Humes, Advisor to the President; Cheryl Dixon, Coordinator, Environmental Sustainability Unit; and Valerie Isaac, Operations Officer (Environment).

COP23 is being presided over by Frank Bainimarama, the Prime Minister of Fiji and the first small island developing state to hold this role.

The Conference takes place two years after the landmark adoption of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, and will further build momentum among cities, states, regions, territories, business and civil society in support of national climate action plans, the internationally agreed temperature goal and the wider objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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