Don’t forget Caribbean in climate policy, says WWR

When it comes to climate policy, do not forget the Caribbean part of the Kingdom, was Scien­tific Council for Government Policy WWR’s message to the Rutte cabinet.

The report “Justice in climate policy” on the distribution of climate costs emphasises that the impact of climate change is greater in the Dutch Carib­bean than in the Netherlands. At the same time, the council notes that the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement only apply to the European part of the Kingdom due to the ac­tions of the government in The Hague.

“A consequence of this is that the non-European part is excluded from climate ob­jectives and cannot claim in­ternational financial support from these treaties. As part of the Kingdom, Curacao, Aru­ba and St. Maarten are not independently authorised to conclude treaties, such as the international climate agree­ments,” the report states.

“The Caribbean part of our Kingdom is also experienc­ing climate damage: extreme heat, drought and precipita­tion are increasing and there­fore also the risk of scarcity, deterioration of quality of life and poverty,” added WRR, citing Hurricane Irma as an example of vulnerability of the islands. “Many houses and other buildings have still not been repaired. Hur­ricane Irma shows that well-thought-out climate policy, including policy on prevent­ing and repairing climate damage, is essential for the entire Kingdom of the Neth­erlands.”

The Caribbean parts of the Kingdom not only have no access to international funds but are also not entitled to national funds. This even ap­plies to the special munici­palities of Bonaire, St. Eusta­tius and Saba (so-called BES islands), for which there is no place in the National Delta Programme either.

State Secretary of King­dom Relations Alexandra van Huffelen has promised, among other things, to open the SDE fund for sustainabil­ity to the (island) countries, but there seems to be little progress.

In the meantime, Green-peace Netherlands is prepar­ing a court case to force the Dutch government to take a more active interest in the consequences of climate change in the Caribbean. After the publication of an alarming report by VU sci­entists that large parts of Bo­naire are at risk of being swal­lowed up by the sea in the course of this century, Min­ister for Climate and Energy Rob Jetten has appointed a quartermaster to set up the Bonaire Climate Table.However , his colleague Mark Harbers of Infrastruc­ture and Water Management does not yet give the impres­sion that he takes the climate risks on the BES islands very seriously.

The Daily Herald.

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