Climate Change at the OCTs
Climate change does not affect all nations and countries equally. Most of the OCTs and small island states are at the forefront and directly subjected to the array of climate change effects. From raising sea levels, to ever increasing hurricanes. But OCTs are taking initiative.
OCTs are also at the forefront of international discussions and innovation on tackling climate change. At the recent COP21 in Paris, many OCTs came with strong proposals and input. From New Caledonia to Greenland, we see numerous direct inputs into the Paris Climate Conference (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – UNFCCC) and side events such as the Sustainable Innovation Forum 2015 . These initiatives included several of OCTA Innovation’s Innovation Managers, such as Bran Quinquis.
HE Bernard D. Whiteman, The Prime Minister of Curacao and OCTA Chair, stated that “climate change is a crisis that can be grindingly slowrising sea-levels that gradually erase whole nations and cripple small economies […] We must aim to make a commitment to preventing more global warming, to let our voices be heard in our path to achieving sustainable development, to preserve ancient cultures, present lives and future potential.”
Aruba Prime Minister Mike Eman, OCTA Vice chair, with his actions and speeches, including those at the the United Nations, TEDxBinnenhof and COP21 IREMA, has been widely recognized as leader of OCTs in energy sustainability and Climate Change mitigation and adaptation, presenting islands with an important potential to be green partners.
Shining example of an important OCT initiative that led to cross-OCTs cooperation is the OCTA Sustainable energy roadmap signed in June 2015 at the 1st Energy Summit. The resulting roadmap were inspiration and example of the well organized cooperation and established synergy, and formed the cornerstone of the OCTA actions on renewable energy.
In 2016, OCTA is engaging on climate discussions. ‘Technical Consultative Workshop on Climate Change in OCTs (Brussels, 9-10 February)”, presented a rich and insightful range of discussions. Chaired by Mrs Kedell Worboys (MBE), President of OCTA Executive Committee, the workshop shared practical cases and lessons learnt on mitigating impacts of climate change on islands and set the pace for this work in 2016.