France’s dedication to the fight against climate change was applauded by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretary-General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque on Wednesday 12 December 2017.
As he accredited a new Ambassador of that country to CARICOM, H.E. Antoine Joly, he expressed gratitude that France had joined forces to safeguard the Region and the entire planet from the threats of climate change.
Secretary-General LaRocque congratulated the President of France Emmanuel Macron, for his hosting of the recent One Planet Summit, noting that it was another indication of France’s dedication to advancing the aims of the Paris Agreement.
The Agreement “holds a heightened sense of urgency for CARICOM, as it advocates for a stronger global approach to combating climate change, as well as for meaningful assistance to help our countries build resilience to the increasing effects of this phenomenon,” he stated.
Noting that the passage of Hurricanes Irma, José, and Maria made it clear that climate change was here and that it posed an existential threat to the Region, he thanked France and the other Members of the EU for collectively pledging their strong support to the affected countries that are forced to rebuild in the aftermath of those mega-hurricanes.
The cost of rebuilding after those storms, which are predicted to become more frequent and intense, has an adverse effect on CARICOM’s economic development,” the Secretary-General stated, as he advocated against the use of GDP per capita as the primary criterion for access to concessional development financing by inherently vulnerable countries.
This policy has resulted in the graduation of many CARICOM countries to middle income status, limiting their access to concessional development financing.
“I must express the Community’s concerns over the use, by several of our Development Partners, of GDP per capita as the primary criterion for access to concessional development financing. The inherent vulnerability of Small Island and low-lying coastal Developing States (SIDS) must be a critical factor in determination of that access.”
“Given the magnitude of the damage caused by the hurricanes, the Region cannot rebuild without access to concessional development financing including grants,” Secretary-General LaRocque emphasized.
As one of the major shareholders in the World Bank, a member of the G7 and of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Ambassador LaRocque said France can also have an influential voice in advocating for change.