Global Covenant of Mayors will be launched in the Caribbean to support local governments to respond to climate change threats

The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy (GCoM) was launched in the Caribbean region on June 12th in Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago), during the Caribbean Urban Forum (CUF 2019). The GCoM is an international coalition of city leaders committed to raising the global ambition for climate action. The Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean (GCoM-LAC) aims to support the efforts of local governments in the region to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and make their communities more resilient toward the effects of climate change.

The implementation of GCoM-LAC is supported by the International Urban Cooperation Program (IUC), funded by the European Union.
During the launch of the Global Covenant of Mayors in the Caribbean, framed within the celebration of CUF 2019, mayors of Trinidad represented by TTALGA as well as the mayors of Belmopan (Belize), Georgetown (Guyana), Portsmouth (Dominica) and May Pen (Jamaica) showed leadership in agreeing to take action on climate change by joining the GCoM.

It means an increase in their level of commitment to the development of sustainability policies in their areas, with a focus on the achievement of the Paris Agreement goals at the local level. The Association of Local Government Authorities of Jamaica (ALGAJ) also signed a letter of intent to join the GCoM as Regional Coordinator, providing strategic guidance and support to local governments in the country.

President of the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities Anthony Roberts delivering the Feature Address at the GCoM Launch on June 12th 2019

According to President of the Caribbean Association of Local Government Authorities (CALGA) and Trinidad and Tobago Association of Local Government Authorities (TTALGA), Anthony Roberts, “Climate change effects such as increased temperature and the increase in proliferation of adverse weather conditions has put Local Government entities at the forefront of climate change. Hence, through means such as increased awareness, Local Government entities must advocate for climate change policy and promote the adherence to changes that will meaningfully reduce climate change devastation locally.

In light of these facts, Local Government Municipality heads in the island state Trinidad and Tobago have agreed in Principle to sign on to the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate change and to support and participate in discussions at meeting that are held here in Port of Spain”.

The Ambassador of the European Union to Trinidad and Tobago, Aad Biesebroek stated: “We very much welcome the Mayors of Latin America and the Caribbean to this very important climate and energy efficiency initiative. Cities are an integral part of climate action and Mayors can contribute to meaningful change. The EU believes that we need to work hand in hand with cities around the world to reach our common climate goals. We encourage mayors to keep leading the way and through the ‘International Urban Cooperation Programme’ (IUC) the EU will continue to provide support”.

The Global Covenant of Mayors comes to the Caribbean at a particularly important time for the region, the most threatened on the planet by the effects of climate change and natural disasters, where 60% of its biodiversity is currently at risk. The Caribbean today faces the great challenge of having to deal with the impacts of severe climatic events and a changing climate despite having limited resources. Through the regional chapter, and as delivered by local and global city network partners, the Global Covenant of Mayors will offer technical support and training, and work with signatory cities and sub-national authorities in the Caribbean to plan and implement climate initiatives more effectively.

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