The blueSpace Caribbean team comprising of Professor John Agard, Dr. Asad Mohammed and Dr. Perry Polar hosted an online stakeholder meeting on 1st September 2020 to determine how regional stakeholders can participate in the Global Covenant of Mayors: Building Resilience in Caribbean Municipalities. Present were representatives from GCoM, Commonwealth Local Government Forum, The Inter-American Development Bank and Caribbean Youth Environment Network.
Five takeaways from the meeting were:
- Mayors who agree to participate in the in the initiative are committing to making significant reductions in their Greenhouse gas emissions and make plans to adapt to Climate Change by building resilience at the city level. Post the planning stage GCoM will assist in the identification of resources for implementation.
- Only five countries in CARICOM have formal local government systems in the Region, some have other types of arrangements while others have none at all. The key candidates for this initiative may be capital cities which may or may not have formal local government and selected large Municipalities aided by their national government to support their data requirements.
- Caribbean municipalities do not have the data collecting capacity required to fill the mandatory categories in the Common Reporting Framework (buildings, transportation, waste management, etc.) and optional processes (industrial, Agriculture, Forestry and other Land use, and Energy generation).
- Fortunately, there is a report from the EU JRC Science and Policy Report entitled Fossil CO2 and GHG emissions of all World Countries (2019). https://edgar.jrc.ec.europa.eu/overview.php?v=booklet2019 which has emissions data for Caribbean countries from 1970-2018. Although the report provides source data (where energy is produced) and the GCoM templates require end use data (where energy is utilized), this data can be adjusted and scaled to reduce the burden on Municipalities to collect data and instead to focus on Climate Action Plans.
- Agency stakeholder were pleased to see that emissions data was available for the Caribbean and were eager to participate in the initiative. They also noted that one has to consider the number of tourists in the country as well as the local population in considering emission figures.