CARICOM Ministers of Environment convened a virtual meeting for the opening of the 105th Special Meeting of the Council for Trade and Economic Development (COTED) on Friday, October 28, 2022.
 
COTED promotes CARICOM’S trade and economic development. It also oversees the operations of the Caricom Single Market and Economy (CSME).
 
Minister of Sustainable Development and Environment and outgoing Chairperson of COTED, Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke led the Ministerial Caucus that included representatives from Belize, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Dominica and Trinidad and Tobago.
 
The objective of the Friday morning session was to prepare for two major conferences: the 27th session of the Conference of Parties (COP27) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Egypt and the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) in Canada.
 
The expectation is that the Caribbean region commits to a unified approach at both conferences.
 
Minister Clarke told her colleague ministers that although she has not yet had time to immerse into the regional decision-making process, she looks forward to the continued relationship that will boost the region on a global scale.
 
Dr Clarke said, “I would like to see us as a grouping of Ministers and Countries to come up with practical and home-grown ways of ensuring that we are benefiting from these multilateral processes. I would like to see us make progress on accessing finance, improving efficiency in environmental governance and streaming our messaging and advocacy at the international level.”
 
Representatives from the CARICOM Climate Change Center (5Cs), the Environmental Policy and Planning Division of Trinidad and Tobago (EPPDTT) and the CARICOM Secretariat (CCS) had several discussions including Loss and Damage as a result of climate change, stronger statements on “No Small Island Developing States (SIDS) left behind, improving bilateral relationships and the involvement of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
 
In the interim, Saint Lucia will assume the Chairmanship of COTED.
 
Following the special COTED-CARICOM meeting, members of the regional press engaged the Ministerial Caucus in a virtual CARICOM press conference.
 
The main focus of the press conference was to discuss the position that CARICOM Ministers of Environment plan to take to the upcoming global Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt.