ACS Secretary General addresses Climate Mobility at COP 28

H.E. Rodolfo Sabonge, Secretary General of the Association of Caribbean States (ACS), delivered a speech at the Climate Mobility Pavilion during COP 28, emphasizing the urgent need for collective action to address climate mobility challenges in the Greater Caribbean. The speech outlined the impact of climate change on the region, highlighting vulnerabilities and proposing proactive measures.

During his address, Secretary General Sabonge acknowledged the pivotal role played by H.E. Dennis Francis, President of the General Assembly, in prioritizing climate mobility issues, particularly their impact on Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

The Secretary General underscored the critical nature of the challenges faced by ACS Member States, including hurricanes, tropical storms, floods, droughts, earthquakes, and extreme heat. He welcomed the progress made at COP28 in establishing the Loss and Damage Fund and emphasized the need for financial support to the most affected countries and communities.

He emphasized the detrimental impact of climate change on the Greater Caribbean, outlining negative consequences on infrastructure, agriculture, tourism, and transport. Notably, he discussed the Panama Canal's susceptibility to extended El Niño, resulting in reduced draft, increased emissions from cargo diversions, and significant implications for global trade routes.

H.E. Sabonge highlighted that 88% of hazards in the region are climate-related, affecting vulnerable areas like the Central American Dry Corridor and small island states. He called for collective action, urging updated policies on climate adaptation, resilience, and migration regimes.

The Secretary General also outlined the ongoing efforts of the Greater Caribbean Climate Mobility Initiative, including collaborations for future mobility scenarios, field research, and the development of a comprehensive agenda by COP29 in 2024.

About the ACS

The Association of Caribbean States is the organization for consultation, cooperation and concerted action in trade, transport, sustainable tourism and natural disasters in the Greater Caribbean. Its Member States are Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Panama, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad & Tobago and Venezuela. Its Associate Members are Aruba, Curacao, (France on behalf of French Guiana, Saint Barthelemy and Saint Martin ), Guadeloupe, Martinique, Sint Maarten, (The Netherlands on behalf of Bonaire, Saba, and Sint Eustatius ), Turks and Caicos.