CARICOM eyes key outcomes from United Nations climate change talks

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Sputnik Yuriy Kaver Indigenous Peoples Forum Negotiating Full Stake in UN Climate Change Conference

It presents an important opportunity for CARICOM and the wider Small Island Developing States (SIDs) to influence the global climate change agenda.

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries.

Frank Bainimarama, Fijian prime minister and president of the conference, said: "We in Fiji know all too well that climate change poses a serious threat to the health of our people".

United Nations on Tuesday called on the participants of the Climate Change Conference (COP23) in Bonn, Germany, to adopt a coordinated policy approach in order to achieve zero hunger and ensure food security across the world by 2030.

"This initiative can strengthen the response of small islands to the rising risks as the world works to ensure that together we keep a global temperature rise well below 2 degrees C and better, no higher than 1.5 degrees, " she said.

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They have also pioneered innovative approaches to improve the resilience of their health systems to climate change.

Global problems associated with climate change demand global cooperation, Pope Francis told a group of heads of state from the Pacific Islands.

Waqa praised the pope's leadership in promoting the recognition that those who least contribute to greenhouse gas emissions often bear the brunt of the effects of climate change, and for his insistence on the inclusion of everyone in discussions and solutions.

Joy St John, WHO assistant director-general for climate, said: "Small island developing states are ready to take leadership towards green, resilient and health-promoting national development - but the support of the worldwide community is essential".

"The vision is that, by 2030, all health systems in small island developing states will be able to withstand climate variability and change", noted Dr St John.

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Health-related costs resulting from climate change are expected to hit between $2bn and $4bn a year by 2030, but not enough worldwide finance goes to small island states.

Country ownership is a central principle of this initiative.

The planet Earth, when viewed from space, is a world without borders, he said, and "it reminds us of the need for a global outlook, worldwide cooperation and solidarity, and a shared strategy" when it comes to caring for the environment.

More than 45 country profiles have already been completed and, as part of this initiative, World Health Organization commits to publishing a country profile for all small island developing states by the end of 2018. "And, of course, that countries around the world will have substantially reduced carbon emissions".

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