Small island developing states (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to climate change: rising sea levels and extreme weather threaten their very existence. Earlier this month, on 5-6 November, parliamentarians from 10 Caribbean countries, including many island states, met at a regional seminar in Suriname to discuss measures to combat climate change. Participants included the Speakers from Barbados, Dominica, Guyana, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and Suriname.
The seminar followed the adoption of an emergency resolution on climate change at the recent 139th IPU Assembly in October. The resolution, submitted by the SIDS and adopted by all IPU members, calls on parliaments to act decisively to implement the 2016 Paris Agreement and to mitigate the consequences of global warming as outlined in the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5C.
At the seminar, the MPs pledged to consult with citizens on national policies, in particular young people and threatened communities; to make sure that legislation better protects the environment; and to ensure that climate change legislation respects human rights. They also agreed to optimize their oversight role, holding their governments to account for national policies on climate change.