COP24 outcome is 'fair' to Caribbean countries, says negotiator

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Great Belize Television: News 5/Channel 5, Belize

All of last week we were reporting on the negotiations at COP24 in Katowice, Poland. The negotiations progressed slowly and it wasn’t until Saturday around 10pm that the final outcome was agreed upon. Countries settled on many elements of the 133 pages of the “rulebook” that will see the 2015 Paris agreement be put into practice, including how they will measure and report on cutting their emissions. Today we spoke with Carlos Fuller, a negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, and he says the final agreement was “fair” to what CARICOM was expecting. While countries were able to agree on some critical points – which they saw as positive outcomes, there wasn’t much ground gained on some key issues, including the hope to see how countries will boost their targets to cut emissions. Fuller tells reporter Andrea Polanco more.

Fuller: “From the CARICOM perspective, we think, or I think it is a fair outcome. We didn’t achieve everything we wanted. So, in the second week the COP did welcome the IPCC special report on global warming of 1.5 which we had been unable to agree on the week before. So, that was a good outcome. Unfortunately, when that’s fed into the Talanoa Dialogue, the dialogue itself which we wanted to say that it informs stronger NDC’s by 2020 was not as strong as we wanted. So, it asked parties to consider the report if it was to update its NDCs.  So, it is not as strong as we would have liked it. We are certainly happy that loss and damage was included in the stock taking exercises and included in several parts of the document, which we were going for. The other part that we are disappointed for is the part of market mechanism – there was no conclusion there and so the negotiations will have to continue on that aspect in May and June of next year for a COP decision at the next COP which will be held in Chile at the end of 2019”

Polanco: “So, right now, countries just go back to implement their NDCs at this point?”

Fuller: “Two of them have already updated theirs and there is a call that parties that strengthen the NDCs should report on that at the UN Secretary General summit which has been called for September of next year. So, we are still hoping and appealing that countries will do so, but they are under no obligations to do so."