OECS welcomes ratification of COP 21 agreement

CASTRIES, St. Lucia,  CMC – The Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Friday said it welcomed the entry into force of the historic Paris Climate Change.

Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties held in France in December 2015.

The conference agreed that the Agreement would only come into force on the 13th day after the date on which at least 55 Parties to the Convention that account for at least an estimated 55 per cent of the total global greenhouse gas emissions have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession with the Depositary.

The agreement came into force on October 5, 2016 with 86, of the 197 Parties to the UNFCCC Convention, having ratified.

The St. Lucia-based OECS Commission said that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) led the way in ratifying the Agreement as the effects of climate change such as intense hurricanes, droughts and sea level rise, will directly impact their survival and people.

It said all six independent OECS member states – Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts-Nevis and St. Vincent and the Grenadines –  “have made a bold statement and ratified.

“The 1.5 to Stay Alive campaign across the wider Caribbean region, in addition to representation and participation at COP21 at the highest level was unprecedented and contributed significantly to the cause of Caribbean SIDS,” the Commission noted.

It said that under the Paris Agreement, all countries have agreed to combat climate change and to unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient and sustainable future that will keep a global average temperature rise well below the two degrees Celsius with the accepted international aim of working to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The first session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1) takes places in Morocco from November 7 – 18 this year.

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