Most Read Contributor in Cayman Islands, September 2016
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's
21st Conference of the Parties, which took place in Paris this
month, resulted in a historic treaty – 'the Paris
Agreement' – between 195 nations to combat climate change
and unleash actions and investment towards a low carbon, resilient
and sustainable future.
The Paris Agreement attempts to offer protection to small
low-lying islands such as the Cayman Islands, by laying out plans
to keep global warming to "well below 2 degrees Celsius above
pre-industrial levels" and pursue efforts to limit the
increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Minister of Environment Wayne Panton says the agreement will
provide a guiding framework for Cayman on further steps to reduce
its carbon footprint.
'The treaty calls for a special report in 2018 on the
impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C and that report could
provide some important information for Cayman in terms of the
measures needed to address the effects of climate change', he
'Prior to the Agreement, the Cayman Islands Government had
planned a review of its National Energy Policy. The treaty will
impact our efforts to refine the local framework and enable more
avenues to reduce greenhouse gas emissions'.
Cabinet recently took the decision to request that the United
Kingdom include Cayman in its ratification of the second commitment
period of the Kyoto Protocol (KP2), which runs until 31 December
2020. Under KP2 , the UK has a reduction target of 16% by 2020,
compared with 2005 levels for emissions. Cayman is obligated to
continue providing information to the UK on local measures to
reduce emissions and adapt to climate change.
In addition to the energy policy, Government currently has a
draft national climate change policy. Both policies will be the two
instruments to help guide the establishment of greenhouse gas
reduction targets and the methods of achieving the agreed
reductions, as well as identify actions needed to adapt to climate
The draft National Climate Change Policy (2011) and National
Energy Policy will be undergoing a review and update in early
'Policies relating to energy security and climate change are
intimately linked as they both seek to reduce our current reliance
on carbon-based energy production and for the Cayman Islands, one
is as essential as the other', Minister Panton said.
Both the Minister and the DoE Director Gina Ebanks-Petrie are
hopeful that the Paris Agreement will encourage Cayman to make
greater strides in reducing its carbon footprint.
'To date, actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and
adapt to climate change have not been a focus of national policy.
This will need to change if we are to make any meaningful progress
on the issues surrounding climate change', Mrs Ebanks-Petrie
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