The inaugural virtual Caribbean Youth Parliament on Climate Justice concluded successfully on September 23, organisers have said in a release.
The forum, hosted by the Caribbean Climate Justice Project in collaboration with the Caribbean Regional Youth Council (CRYC) debated a 13-point resolution on climate justice for citizens of the Caribbean.
The “parliamentarians” who represented the countries of Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago, spoke in strong support of the resolution, from the perspectives of youth, health, education, human rights, agriculture and tourism, vulnerable populations, biodiversity, community empowerment, trade and investment, and foreign policy.
The following is the resolution that was issued at the end of the event: Acknowledging that climate change is an urgent global challenge with longterm implications for the sustainable development of all countries, representing a critical and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet, demanding the widest possible co-operation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response with a view to urgently accelerating the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions; Recognising that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are an urgent and special case, in view of their unique and particular vulnerabilities to the adverse impacts of climate change, as acknowledged in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and by the international community in multiple international agreements since the 1992 United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development; Observing that with global warming of approximately one degree Celsius, SIDS, including all Caribbean countries, are experiencing more extreme weather and slow onset events including more intense storms, heat waves, droughts, accelerating sea-level rise, coastal erosion, coral bleaching, flooding, ocean acidification, sea temperature increase, mangrove degradation, inundation and salinization of coastal agricultural soils and residential areas and other life threatening impacts; Appreciating that States continue to affirm the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and all human rights instruments relevant to the protection, promotion, respect and fulfilment of the human rights of all children and young people; Noting that States committed in the Paris Agreement to respect, promote and consider their respective obligations on human rights, including the rights of children, and intergenerational equity, when taking action to address climate change; Reaffirming that the Human Rights Council Resolutions 37/8, 35/20 and 40/11 address the rights of children and young people with respect to environmental harm and climate change, and that a safe climate is a vital element of the right to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment and is essential to human life and well-being; Recalling that, inter alia, the Global Youth Climate Action Declaration, the Kwon Gesh Pledge, the World Declaration on the Survival, Protection and Development of Children, the ongoing work of the Global Initiative on Advancing Children’s Right to a Healthy Environment, and the Declaration of the People’s Summit on Climate, Rights and Human Survival have called attention to the global, economic, social, and ecological state of emergency; Emphasising that climate change poses a clear and present threat to health, food and water security, biodiversity, sustainable development, vulnerable populations, human rights, livelihoods, youth and political stability in the Caribbean; and Reasserting our commitment to urgent and ambitious action on climate change to secure our collective future.
Be it Resolved that this inaugural Virtual Caribbean Youth Parliament on Climate Justice: 1. Reiterates that States have human rights obligations to ensure adequate responses to the climate crisis. Such responses must recognise and prioritise the most marginalised, socially disadvantaged and affected communities as the drivers of change. Fulfilling these obligations is the only way to guarantee more effective, sustainable and equitable actions and a just transition towards a climate resilient world; 2. Calls on States to scale up efforts to respect, promote and consider the rights of children and young people in the implementation of the Paris Agreement at all levels, including recognition of their specific vulnerabilities, as well as their status as key stakeholders and implementers, in countries’ national climate adaptation and mitigation measures, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), and long-term greenhouse gas emissions reduction strategies, including consideration of the particular role and responsibilities of the private sector and civil society; 3. Requests that we increase our efforts to place human rights at the core of climate activism.
We will do so by following the lead of youth, Indigenous Peoples, women, people living in poverty, people with disabilities, fisherfolk, farmers, rural communities, and other disproportionately affected groups, who are leading the call for climate justice and against activities that damage the planet; 4. Demands that courts uphold the rule of law and access to climate justice in domestic courts, and government climate policies, plans and programs respect, protect and fulfil human rights, including the right of people to be fully informed and empowered to participate in a meaningful way in climate decision making. We will oppose any policy or action taken to combat climate change or support adaptation that comes at the cost of human rights, and those that would deepen inequalities and cause impoverishment, hunger, dispossession, and economic, social and political exclusion; 5. Entreats those States with the greatest responsibility for anthropogenic climate change to provide the required financial and technological resources to countries in the global south to facilitate their ambitious actions for climate change adaptation, mitigation and responding to loss and damage; 6. Appeals for an urgent and sustained global effort to close the mitigation ambition gap and place the world on a pathway for very low emissions climate resilient development that will limit the average global temperature increase to 1.5oC above pre-industrial levels; 7. Highlights the need for the international community to provide greater support to the Caribbean in its ongoing efforts to adapt to the myriad, multi-sectoral impacts of climate change, build greater resilience and transition its economies away from the use of fossil fuels; 8. Endorses the call of the United Nations Secretary General to all donors and International Financial Institutions to allocate at least fifty percent (50%) of their climate finance to adaptation.
A balanced allocation for mitigation and adaptation finance is necessary to allow SIDS and other climate-vulnerable countries to address more frequent and intense climate impacts; 9. Recommends the implementation of a Global Carbon Tax, to be applied to all major emitters of greenhouse gases, with the proceeds to be paid into a fund managed under the UNFCCC to address loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change in developing countries; 10. Invites the international community to support the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in its drive to recapitalize the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) as one of the premiere mechanisms that presently addresses loss and damage, in the face of more intense extreme weather events exacerbated by climate change; 11.
Encourages the operational entities under the financial mechanisms of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Paris Agreement to clarify how developing countries, including SIDS, may access funding for the development of proposals that avert, minimise and address loss and damage; 12. Urges the Parties to the UNFCCC to ensure that the outcomes of COP 26 result in the full and effective operationalization of the Paris Agreement; and 13. Advocates for the inclusion of youth representatives in all national and regional meetings and committees on climate change and climate resilience in CARICOM Member States and in all Member State delegations to the Conference of the Parties (COPs) under the UNFCCC.