During the second day of the Caribbean Climate & Energy Conference (CCEC): It is important for small island to work together more often to resolve the challenges brought by climate change

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(Oranjestad)—The second day of the CCEC conference on Thursday morning started with a speech from the Minister of Nature, Minister Ursell Arends. Aruba, along with the Netherlands organized the conference, where in different representatives, authorities and experts from the Dutch Caribbean islands and around the world met—either in person or virtually—to discuss on the field of energy and climate.

Minister Ursell Arends opened the conference with a warm welcome to those present. The theme he elaborated on was the impact of climate change and the urgency to attend to the consequences of this on the environment of Aruba. Minister Arends expressed that he acknowledges that the challenges are multidimensional, and that is why there is a need for a strategic plan to resolve this. As a minister, Arends is in charge with all issues concerning the Aruban nature and environment. He elaborated on the importance of cooperation and collaboration between countries, in order to promote sustainable developments. The minister urged everyone present to develop methods and strategies that take into account future generations and that respond to the necessity of nature.

Dutch minister of Climate and environment, Rob Jetten, expressed that countries are currently going under water. Collective action is cardinal to ensure the future of everyone on this planet. Furthermore, he elaborated on the different risks that the islands face. As a minister in charge of matters such as this, he acknowledges that there is much to be done to “make up” for what has not been done earlier.

The Netherlands itself is a country that resides below the water line, and it also feels the effects and risks of climate change. The country is currently actively working to reduce these damaging factors against the environment, namely by reducing the carbon footprint that the country produces and to promote and educate the community on the importance of sustainability and transition of energy. Finally, Minister Jetten expressed that the Dutch kingdom is committed to work together for a solution.

Mr. Selwin Charles Hart, Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on Climate Action and Just Transition, elaborated through a video call on the challenges that climate change, the transition of energy and the role that the UN plays in this initiative.

Mr. Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Climate Change Secretariat, elaborated on the topic of climate and energy, saying that this conference is making way for countries to better work together for the big challenge we are currently facing.

After the speeches, 3 sessions of work groups were assembles on the topics of Transition of Just Energy, Creating Resilient Climatic Ecosystems and Financing of Climate Action. In these sessions, the participants discussed how to achieve more cooperation between the small islands. And together with financial instances, look for ways to get the necessary funding to sustain the actions needed.

Being small islands, there is a sentiment in all who participated, that there is not enough union between the islands to combat this problematic subject. During the conference, it was expressed that without this union, there is no way to achieve the goals necessary for the benefit of the small islands. The first CCEC conference is the first step to achieve this.