Recently the UN Climate Change published its “NDC Synthesis Report,” which summarises national climate plans submitted by countries. The outcome of the report states countries are far away from getting the world on track to limiting global warming to 1.5°C. While some progress was made in one year, the required downward trend in emissions is not yet near. Ahead of COP27, the UN Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell from Grenada said governments actions must now “reflect the level of urgency, the gravity of the threats we are facing.” Read the press release here.
This paper by the Loss and Damage Collaboration highlights how finance to address Loss and Damage has been repeatedly blocked by developed countries under the UNFCCC and why a Facility must be established at COP27. Lyndsay Walsh, climate policy adviser at Oxfam, reveals the blocking tactics wealthy countries used to avoid paying for climate loss and damage. Read it in the blog Views and Voices.
In case you missed it, here is Climate Tracker’s first Caribbean community hangout session where Tyrone Hall, strategy advisor with the Open Society Foundations, and Rueanna Haynes, director of Climate Analytics-Caribbean, took a holistic look into COP26’s key outcomes, what Caribbean countries want out of COP27, and what media should focus on for this year’s climate negotiations.
The International Funders for Indigenous Peoples had a virtual dialogue called, “The Engagement of Indigenous Peoples at COP27”. For those who missed the webinar, can access the recording using this link.
Climate Justice and the Environment
- Marisa Hutchinson, a Caribbean feminist from Barbados and the Environmental Justice program officer for the International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific, and Jhannel Tomlinson, Jamaican scholar-activist and IWRAW’s Environmental Justice Fellow, give an assessment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Open Global Rights.
- Trinidadian Racquel Moses, the only UNFCCC Ambassador for Net Zero from an island and the CEO of the Caribbean Climate-Smart Accelerator, discusses the need for global leaders to listen to the countries that will be worst hit by climate change in her opinion piece in Euro News.
- The Commonwealth Foundation discusses the need for climate-vulnerable states to receive reparations needed to help them protect themselves from the impact of climate change.
- Follow Climate Analytics-CARIBBEAN on LinkedIn for updates on their work regarding climate change in the Caribbean and internationally.
- Steve Maximay of the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network discusses the need to have a just transition from the energy industry to renewable energy in the Caribbean.
- As developed nations discuss how to treat climate change, Small Island Developing States including those in the Caribbean, experience the devastating impact of climate change, particularly when natural disasters occur and the affected countries are plunged into further debt. The Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network discusses how unjust climate change is for the Caribbean.
- Barbados has been championing climate funding for the Caribbean. This article by the Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network discusses all the work the Small Island Developing State has been doing to combat climate change.
- The Imbotero Mangrove Reserve in Guyana has the largest most intact ecosystem and mangrove forest in the country. The mangrove forms an important guardrail against the ocean protecting 90% of the country’s population who reside along the coastline. The Caribbean Investigative Journalism Network discusses the impact of the mangrove in Guyana.
- Read Saint Lucia’s First National Adaptation Plan Progress Report which discusses how the island is vulnerable to climate change for various reasons and as such need, “effective mid- and long-term climate adaptation planning and to enable the integration of climate change adaptation considerations into all relevant policies and programmes and development planning.”
- The Cayman Islands Tourism Minister, Kenneth Bryan, said bringing in sand to replace the stretch of Seven Mile Beach that is being eroded could be a “costly failure for the public purse.” Bryan warned that replenishment might not be the answer, given that there are still hard structures on the beach. Cayman News Service reports.
- Climate Tracker held an Energy Transition workshop in July/August this year for journalists from Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Following that, nine journalists, three from each country, were chosen to write about their respective countries’ energy transitions. These are their stories.
- Stories about the impact of climate change in the Global South, low-income communities, and communities of colour around the world are still under-reported. Citizen journalists from the Global South play a crucial role in telling those stories. Climate Tracker seeks to train citizen journalists to report on their reality. Meet the new cohort of Caribbean citizen climate journalism fellows.
- While the Bahamian government set strong expectations for the country’s exploration of blue carbon credits, climate change scientist Marjahn Finlayson says investing in this new industry will not solve the climate change issue. “This idea of carbon crediting to balance the system out doesn’t make sense because you’re still going to be adding more to the actual atmosphere.” Eyewitness News reports
- Trinidadians Racquel Moses, Rueanna Haynes, and Michelle Scobie ask questions on screen at the Commonwealth Foundation’s conversation on Just Energy Transition across the Commonwealth on YouTube.
- The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is championing the creation of a multilateral fund to enable developing countries to afford the cost of responses to loss and damage associated with climate change. The Jamaica Gleaner reports.
- Colombia’s Constitutional Court deemed that the Government did not do enough to rebuild the Caribbean island Providencia following the devastating effects of hurricanes in 2020. It gave instructions on how the Government could address reconstruction including by ensuring the rights of the island’s Afro-descendant, creole-speaking Raizal population. El Isleño.com reports.
- As the International Seabed Authority (ISA) meets at its headquarters in Kingston, Jamaica from October 31 to November 11, the New Zealand Government has decided to support a global moratorium on deep-sea mining, while Greenpeace urges governments to stop deep-sea mining. Petchary discusses in their blog. SOA Caribbean is working on gathering Caribbean youth perspectives on deep-sea mining. The results will be taken to the upcoming International Seabed Authority (ISA) meeting in Jamaica. Take the survey here.
- The Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas, with support from Google News Initiative, organised a massive open online course (MOOC) called “How to cover the climate crisis – and fight disinformation.” It ran for four weeks between August and September, and reached 3,810 students from 151 countries. It is now available as a self-directed course.
- Volume 2 issue 1 of Spotlight on Caribbean Climate the Newsletter of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre looks at Climate change broken promises – How rich countries continue to disappoint the Caribbean and a Climate Testimony by Jevanic Henry.
- The Global Yaadie podcast has returned with even more discussions with young people working on obtaining climate justice. The podcast is a collaborative effort with Young People for Climate Action Jamaica – YPACC, Global Yaadie. Listen to the latest podcast here.
- The Reuters Institute is launching the Global South Climate Database, a publicly available, searchable database of climate scientists and experts in the fields of climate science, climate policy and energy. Caribbean climate scientists and experts are encouraged to register in the database.
Oil, Gas and Energy
- While Guyana is pursuing a costly gas-to-energy project, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will launch the report, ‘Is natural gas a good investment for Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)’, warning of the consequences of the exploitation of nature, urging countries to invest in renewable energy options. Kaieteur News reports
- While Jamaica is progressing towards its goal of reduced greenhouse gas emissions and heavy oil energy consumption, Fiona Daniels, a Climate Tracker fellow, reflects on the call for the government to implement more tropical renewable resources, and for consumers to be encouraged to be more energy efficient and switch to renewables. In the article Eleanor Terrelonge, president of the Jamaica Climate Change Youth Council (JCCYC), suggests, “More competition in the area of power supply would help reduce costs to customers. Jamaica’s electricity provider currently enjoys a monopoly. Terrelonge believes that unless the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) is forced to reduce costs, nothing will be done. She also finds that while Jamaica is attempting to diversify energy resources, it appears to be on an impromptu or project basis, instead of on a national level.”
- ExxonMobil Corporation announced that its third-quarter 2022 earnings was a record-shattering US$19.7 billion. It said third-quarter results included US$1B in earnings from divestments of assets in Canada and Romania. Exxon noted that its earnings also benefited from higher production volumes in its advantaged assets in Guyana. Kaieteur News reports.
The Caribbean in the World
- Sir Ronald Sanders, Antigua and Barbuda’s ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), announced on his LinkedIn that on October 20 that Antigua and Barbuda cosponsored a Resolution on Peru at the Organisation of American States that was adopted by all countries. This was his intervention in the Council’s debate
- Representatives of Guyana’s Government and the European Union met to discuss the implementation of their Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) on Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The Agreement will help improve forest governance and sustainable forestry, and verify the trade in legal timber, Guyana’s Department of Public Information announced.
- The Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) says amending technicalities in the Representation of the Peoples Act (RoPA) is not the agenda the country needs given that the chaos surrounding Guyana’s 2020 election was not something new, but rather the norm. Kaieteur News reports.
- The World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index, 2022 highlights Belize and Honduras as two countries where the rule of law was strengthened by a change in governmental administration. Caribbean Magazine Plus reports.
- John D. Ciorciari, professor and the associate dean for research and policy engagement at the University of Michigan’s Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy said in foreignpolicy.com that while Haiti faces acute hardships and needs international assistance, without a credible and locally owned political road map, another intervention will do little to strengthen Haiti’s sovereign institutions.
- The UN has called for rapid action to deal with Haiti’s instability. The United States has included Haiti in its list of priority countries under the Global Fragility Act. The United States Institute of Peace’s Andrew Cheatham spoke with several Haiti experts about the structural and security challenges Haiti faces and possible solutions going forward.
- The growth of gang violence in Haiti has been a major concern. Years of political dysfunction combined with deteriorating economic conditions, the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, created a weakening of state power. Under these conditions, gangs have multiplied, joined up forces and asserted authority in an increasingly destructive manner. The Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime has published a report called “Gangs of Haiti, expansion, power and escalating crisis” to discuss the country in turmoil.
- Roberson Alphonse, a well-known Haitian journalist who works at the daily newspaper Le Nouvelliste and at radio station Magik9, survived an assassination attempt on that left his car riddled with bullets in the capital of Port-au-Prince. He underwent two surgeries and is hospitalised and expected to recover. Caribbean Life reports.
- Will international intervention be helpful to quell Haiti’s crisis? Amy Wilentz, author of “The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier; Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter From Haiti” says very few Haitians want to see a foreign force of any kind on Haitian soil in The Nation.
- A report published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) based on information gathered between June and August 2022, identified over 113,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Haiti. Of these, 96,000 individuals fled due to inter-gang violence and social unrest. An additional 17,000 people remain displaced because of the earthquake in August 2021.
Economy and Finance
- The Times discusses Barbados Prime Minister Mottley’s Bridgetown Initiative, which seeks to address the inequities of the global financial system by recasting the problem and solution around global needs and opportunities, not nations. Bridgetown calls for a new global mechanism facilitating an automatic release of international cash and material support for reconstruction wherever an independently verified, significant climate disaster occurs, or when a slow-onset disaster happens.
- Daniel Munevar, a Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer supporting Eurodad’s work on debt justice, continues his critique of the Belize Debt swap on Twitter. Jules Vasquez in Uncut from Belize also discusses the Blue Bond, a sovereign fund that aims in improving sustainability in marine development while aiming to reduce debt in Belize.
- Alicia Nicholls, International Trade Consultant, discusses with the Daily Nation how global watchdog the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has kept Barbados on a grey list due to “strategic difficulties” in dealing with money laundering.
- In Antigua and Barbuda, the Sexual Offenders Registry Bill was passed in the Lower House. The Sex Offenders Registry Bill 2022 seeks to show convicted offenders’ names publicly listed, along with other pertinent information. Antigua Observer reports.
- In the Cayman Islands, the first of several new courtrooms were unofficially opened in time to host the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council, which will be sitting in Grand Cayman to hear three local cases which will be the first time it has ever sat in any British Overseas Territory. Cayman News Service reports.
- A member of Grenada’s Commission on Cannabis Legalisation and Regulation warned that legalising marijuana will not happen overnight and in the interim, people 25 years and under, who were charged, convicted, and or imprisoned for simple cannabis possession, be pardoned. Caribbean National Weekly reports.
- A team from Antigua and Barbuda’s Medicinal Cannabis Authority went to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to engage in a peer learning exercise focused on sharing best practices, visiting several medicinal cannabis cultivation sites, processing facilities, dispensaries, lounges, and lab facilities to build a sustainable and resilient cannabis industry both domestic and regionally. Antigua Newsroom reports.
- History was created in St Kitts and Nevis when parliamentarians selected two women to head the National Assembly. Loop Caribbean reports.
- Download the Caribbean Policy Research Institute’s report, “Breaking News: Gender-based Violence in Jamaican News Media.” The report, supported by the Canadian High Commission, aims to identify the potential of gender-sensitive reporting as an approach to media representation of GBV in Jamaica, with the goal of shifting societal attitudes to better recognise GBV as problematic.
- Download the Caribbean Policy Research Institute’s report, “Who cares, the real cost of unpaid care and domestic work,” which talks about how Jamaican women spend more time in unpaid care and domestic work than men.
- Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali announced that Guyana’s High Commissioner to India, Charrandas Persaud, has agreed to vacate his post. A video surfaced recently showing Persaud verbally abusing an Indian woman, in clear contradiction of the rules that govern the conduct of Guyana’s diplomats. Newsroom Guyana reports.
- The UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) is calling on states to immediately develop and implement comprehensive policies to better protect the human rights of indigenous women and girls everywhere.
- Gay couples in Cuba are now able to marry under a new law in Cuba’s new Family Code. Cuba is the ninth Latin American country to allow same-sex unions. NBC News reports.
- This episode of The Global Yaadie looks at Queery-ing Climate Justice. “LGBTQ+ and climate change is no side panel conversation. If we are exploring historically marginalised groups, this community among others needs to be front and centre.” Traditionally there is not much inclusion of LGBTQ+ conversations with climate change which is itself an imbalance of justice.
- St Vincent and the Grenadines has reported 170 amputations in two years. Health Minister, St Clair Prince, said the government is doubling efforts to tackle the rising cases and prevalence of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCD’s) which are responsible for most amputations and are the leading cause of death in the country. ANN reports.
Arts and Culture
- St. Kitts and Nevis has started the second phase of a UNESCO-funded cultural heritage project called: “Safeguarding St. Kitts and Nevis Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) – Developing a National Intangible Cultural Heritage Policy.” The UNESCO fund is worth over US$91,000. The ICH project will benefit from UNESCO technical assistance, aimed at creating a structured National ICH Policy Framework to safeguard the knowledge of tradition bearers, and also to further identify and preserve individual ICH elements. St Kitts and Nevis Information Service reports.
- One hundred artists were announced as the Prince Claus Seed Awards recipients for inspiring new artists and cultural practitioners whose work addresses pressing issues in their local communities. This includes Caribbean artists from Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, and St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
- New Books in Caribbean Studies’ podcast highlights Mario Nisbett’s 2021 book “The Workings of Diaspora: Jamaican Maroons and the Claims to Sovereignty” which shows how the lived experience of Jamaican Maroons is linked to the African Diaspora.
- Rose-Ann Smith’s 2022 book “The Day I Became a Hurricane” featured on the New Books in Caribbean Studies podcast is a children’s educational book on hurricanes.
- Larisa Kingston Mann’s 2022 book “Rude Citizenship: Jamaican Popular Music, Copyright, and the Reverberations of Colonial Power” featured in New Books in Caribbean Studies podcast discuss what constitutes the exilic spaces, namely, the reimagining of marginalised spaces as sites of agency and sovereignty through music and cultural production.
- Chairman of Digicel, Denis O’Brien, offered his support to the regional reparations movement in a proposal entitled “Repair” to advance CARICOM’s call for Reparations for Native Genocide and Slavery.
- The Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC) invites suitable candidates to apply for the full-time position of Community Paralegal. Applications are open to individuals residing in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada. Candidates should be supported by a local NGO that can “house” the paralegal and provide a suitable workspace. Deadline November 3.
- Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) is hosting an Ocean Hackathon. Applications are now open. Join SOA for a 48-hour challenge to help solve the ocean’s greatest problems by enhancing the value of marine data through innovation. The Ocean Hackathon is a global event hosted by Campus mondial de la mer in 15 participating cities worldwide on December 2-4, 2022. SOA is co-hosting the US edition of the Hackathon, taking place in Sausalito, CA. Learn more and apply here. Registration will remain open through the end of October or until spots are filled.
- SOA Caribbean has multiple opportunities and events for youth. Be mindful of the deadline and time zones. Links to opportunities here,
- The deadline has been extended for the International Sustainability Academy Scholarship Programme to November 13. See here for details.
- Historian Dr Hakim Adi will discuss his new book “African and Caribbean People in Britain, A History” with David Olusoga at the British Library on November 4. It will be simultaneously live-streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person or to watch online. Tickets cost £11. Click here for more details.
- The Commonwealth Foundation is hosting an Art and Climate Justice: Reimagining the Future on November 29 at 1pm Port of Spain; 5pm London; 7pm Johannesburg and Maputo; 4am Sydney; and 5am Suva. This is a discussion on how art can, “Bring personal perspectives on climate change that other forms of advocacy cannot. Artists, through their work, whether in literature, visual art, film or poetry, become activists and inspire change.”
- The Columbia Mailman School of Public Health is hosting a Caribbean Climate and Health: Workshop Series discussing Climate Action and Non-Communicable Disease, and Mental Health and the Climate Crisis on November 17 at 6:00 pm Eastern Time (US and Canada). You can choose to attend one or both of the sessions. Register here.
- The Green Screen Environmental Film Festival is hosting Live Nice: A short film screening and virtual panel discussion inspired by SDG 11, Sustainable Cities and Communities which will explore strategies to protect our cultural and national heritage, mitigate the adverse effects of natural disasters on communities as well as the benefits of improved access to green space that is safe and inclusive. This will be on November 6 at 7pm to 8.30 pm Port of Spain time. Register for free today.
Just Caribbean Updates