This pronouncement was made by Minister for the Environment, Hon. Joseph Gilbert, as Grenada’s delegation concluded a two-hour briefing session on Tuesday, November 15, in a preparatory meeting for the 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) in Durban, South Africa. The meeting will begin on November 28 and ends on December 9.
The islands that are members of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and already the impacts such as the frequency and intensity of storms is being felt.
Small islands are also experiencing the impacts through flooding, drought and erosion. Climate change can negatively impact key sectors in these islands including Grenada. In Grenada sectors such as tourism, agriculture, water and health are at risk, since most of the infrastructure such as ports, airports, hospital, roads and hotels are along the coast.
In addition, the World Health Organization in its recent report indicated that "climate change affects the fundamental requirements for health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter".
From November 23, a team of Grenadian negotiators will join other SIDS’ representatives in Durban to prepare negotiations on some key climate change issues.
The Grenada team will also join negotiators from both developing and developed nations – starting November 28 – in an attempt to seek a legally binding agreement.
Among specific issues to be discussed at the Durban conference are: the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol which would bind certain countries to agreed levels of carbon emissions; institutional arrangements for the Green Climate Fund which was created to address mitigation and adaptation efforts; review of the global goal set by the Conference of the Parties two years ago; and a work programme on funding for loss and damage for countries affected by climate change.
The delegation to the High Level Meeting in Durban will include Minister Gilbert and Foreign Affairs Minister, Hon. Karl Hood. Other members of Grenada’s negotiating team include officials from the Ministries of Environment, Finance, Agriculture and Foreign Affairs. --30---
The Conference of the Parties (COP) is the "supreme body" of the Convention, that is, its highest decision-making authority. It is an association of all the countries that are Parties to the Convention.
The COP is responsible for keeping international efforts to address climate change on track. It reviews the implementation of the Convention and examines the commitments of Parties in light of the Convention’s objective, new scientific findings and experience gained in implementing climate change policies. A key task for the COP is to review the national communications and emission inventories submitted by Parties. Based on this information, the COP assesses the effects of the measures taken by Parties and the progress made in achieving the ultimate objective of the Convention.
The COP meets every year, unless the Parties decide otherwise. The COP meets in Bonn, the seat of the secretariat, unless a Party offers to host the session. Just as the COP Presidency rotates among the five recognized UN regions - that is, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, Central and Eastern Europe and Western Europe and Others – there is a tendency for the venue of the COP to also shift among these groups.