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CTO Issues Statement on Paris Agreement on Climate Change


BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS—The Caribbean region is experiencing the impact of the effects of climate change. Sea level rise, frequent and intense natural hazards, extended dry seasons resulting in water scarcity, loss of livelihoods and the disappearance of islands are among the present-day dangers faced.
The tourism sector and the environment are inextricably linked and environmentally responsible tourism is paramount to the sector’s sustainability and overall success. Tourism must be stewarded and balanced so that the benefits for the environment, the communities it serves, its employees and the economy outweigh the costs.

The Conference of Parties 21 *(COP21) came to a close at the end of last week and the Caribbean’s position was clear. Caribbean governments and regional agencies joined in one voice to shout their message of “1.5 to stay alive” which urged global partners to support a call to limit warming to below 1.5C. The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) also endorsed this call.

Many are touting COP21 as a success. The outcome, called the Paris Agreement, has been adopted by 195 nations, and for the first time brings all nations into a common cause based on their historic, current and future responsibilities. The universal agreement’s main aim is to keep a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius and to drive efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
As many of CTO’s members are Small Island Developing States (SIDS), CTO remains optimistic that the tremendous strides made in Paris will help to ensure that this issue continues to occupy a prominent position on the global agenda.

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