FEATURE: The Dominican Republic presents the Quisqueya Platform at the Cartagena Dialogue in Santo Domingo
Jose Garibaldi, Director of Energeia reports on a new initiative to support integrated adaptation and mitigation efforts by developing countries, launched last week in the Dominican Republic
On 9 October, the Dominican Republic launched the Quisqueya Platform, a new initiative to support ambitious, integrated projects for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
The Platform takes its name from the island of Quisqueya, where two vulnerable nations share limited resources and face up to the changing climate. (Quisqueya is also known widely as Hispaniola and is the major Caribbean island shared by the Dominican Republic in the east and Haiti in the west).
The Quisqueya Platform is designed to mobilise the international community towards an ambitious and fair global climate agreement in 2015, by connecting adaptation and mitigation actions with national development plans and by involving the public sector, private sector and multilateral resources. The Platform aims to build momentum by demonstrating an integrated approach to climate compatible development across a wide range of sectors – from education to tourism to energy. Action will be focused initially in the Latin American and the Caribbean, with the expectation that the Platform will expand over time to other areas.
The Caribbean has similar conditions to many of the word’s small-to-medium economies, where it is difficult to separate climate action in to the silos of ‘adaptation’ and ‘mitigation’.
The Platform received support from multiple developed and developing countries attending the Cartagena Dialogue, an informal gathering of countries committed to ambitious outcomes in the UNFCCC.
The Quisqueya Platform seeks to support initiatives in Haiti and the Dominican Republic that address both components through four levels of action: capacity building and stakeholder engagement; developing points of agreement among members for the UNFCCC’s Durban Platform (the negotiating track toward an inclusive 2015 global climate deal) and expanding the research base for ambitious negotiating outcomes; increasing visibility of and co-operation among projects; and advancing thinking on Low Carbon Societies and climate resilient development within the Platform members’ regions. It aims to show that almost any country can benefit from synergies between adaptation and mitigation.
Omar Ramirez, the head of the Dominican Republic National Council for Climate Change and the clean Development Mechanism, said “Mitigation and Adaptation are just two sides of the same coin; the platform will help make this point plainly clear to all”.
The initial project portfolio will comprise energy efficiency and renewable energy activities in the bi-national Artibonito river basin. As adaptation activities advance, the platform will support related mitigation activities. It will also support the blending of capital sources (with different levels of maturity and risk) for adaptation and mitigation activities.
The Platform will enhance coordination of fiscal support and private sources with international public climate finance, such as the Green Climate Fund (when it becomes operational), or multilateral entities such as the Climate Investment Funds/CIFs that are already in business and supporting action in the Caribbean.
Why the Quisqueya Platform’s moment has come
The latest findings from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the physical science of climate change show a range of scenarios for warming this century. These show possible worlds in 2100 that are up to 4.8 degrees warmer than preindustrial times.
Current international efforts are insufficient to meet the global commitment to keep warming below 2°C (the level of dangerous climate change), but bold and ambitious countries’ actions can help support the enhanced cooperation needed to stabilise the global climate.
The Quisqueya Platform will use the momentum and lessons from the projects it supports to engage medium and large emitters and build collective action. This will include providing Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) with the capacity and information to embrace high ambition through action and coalitions with others. In this vein, the platform also supports the recent Pacific Islands Majuro Declaration, which has similar objectives and aims.
“The urgency of the climate challenge highlights the importance of a new climate deal in 2015, and the need for all countries will have to step up their contributions to climate action, even if in a differentiated manner”, said Jose Alberto Garibaldi, fromm Energeia, which has been supporting the platform, “the platform underlines that almost any climate activity can contribute to adaptation, but also to mitigation. We hope it can also provide a platform for many to contribute to the UN Secretary General call to outline further ambitious action by 2014”