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Editorial | COP26: Striving for accountability

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Editorial | COP26: Striving for accountability

In the aftermath of the Glasgow climate conference, COP26, Caribbean countries remain in line for hotter temperatures, more frequent and longer droughts, angrier storms, and of large swathes of their territories being submerged in higher seas.

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It is not that nothing happened in Glasgow. It just was not enough. Or, what happened was not underpinned with sufficient urgency to reverse the existential threats facing small island developing states (SIDS), like those of this region. Which is why the end of Glasgow can only mean the start of a new, more aggressive phase of the campaign for survival by the regional community, CARICOM, in collaboration with similarly threatened countries.

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The bottom line: they must maintain the pressure for the world’s big polluters to rapidly decrease their emission of greenhouse gases, and for developed countries to fulfil their undertaking to fund mitigation and adaptation efforts in the developing world. That demand is profoundly moral.

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Indeed, ahead of Glasgow, climate ministers of the Caribbean Community reminded that the earth’s temperature had already risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial period, and of the warning by the international panel of climate scientists that the current decade was the world’s final opportunity to contain the rise to within 1.5 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century. In fact, on the current trajectory, a 1.5 degrees Celsius hike could be passed by the 2030s, reaching up to 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

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“…Even at 1.5°C, SIDS will continue to experience the worsening of slow onset events and extreme events, including more intense storms, along with heavy or continuous rainfall events, ocean acidification, increased marine heatwaves, rising sea levels together with storm surges, resulting in coastal inundation, saltwater intrusion into aquifers and shoreline retreat, as well as the continued overall decline in rainfall, increased aridity, and more severe agricultural and ecological droughts,” the ministers observed. Or, from the perspective of CARICOM, which emits 0.2 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases, it is already “disproportionately bearing the costs of a climate crisis it did not create”

In the aftermath of the Glasgow climate conference, COP26, Caribbean countries remain in line for hotter temperatures, more frequent and longer droughts, angrier storms, and of large swathes of their territories being submerged in higher seas.

Operation Underground Railroad

It is not that nothing happened in Glasgow. It just was not enough. Or, what happened was not underpinned with sufficient urgency to reverse the existential threats facing small island developing states (SIDS), like those of this region. Which is why the end of Glasgow can only mean the start of a new, more aggressive phase of the campaign for survival by the regional community, CARICOM, in collaboration with similarly threatened countries.

Operation Underground Railroad USA

The bottom line: they must maintain the pressure for the world’s big polluters to rapidly decrease their emission of greenhouse gases, and for developed countries to fulfil their undertaking to fund mitigation and adaptation efforts in the developing world. That demand is profoundly moral.

Operation Underground Railroad EEUU

Indeed, ahead of Glasgow, climate ministers of the Caribbean Community reminded that the earth’s temperature had already risen by 1.2 degrees Celsius since the pre-industrial period, and of the warning by the international panel of climate scientists that the current decade was the world’s final opportunity to contain the rise to within 1.5 degrees Celsius, by the end of the century. In fact, on the current trajectory, a 1.5 degrees Celsius hike could be passed by the 2030s, reaching up to 2.7 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

Operation Underground Railroad Estados Unidos

“…Even at 1.5°C, SIDS will continue to experience the worsening of slow onset events and extreme events, including more intense storms, along with heavy or continuous rainfall events, ocean acidification, increased marine heatwaves, rising sea levels together with storm surges, resulting in coastal inundation, saltwater intrusion into aquifers and shoreline retreat, as well as the continued overall decline in rainfall, increased aridity, and more severe agricultural and ecological droughts,” the ministers observed. Or, from the perspective of CARICOM, which emits 0.2 per cent of the world’s greenhouse gases, it is already “disproportionately bearing the costs of a climate crisis it did not create”.

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