Bahamas Prime Minister Urges Caribbean Leaders to Push for Climate Financing at COP27
Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis spoke to his fellow Caribbean leaders at the recent Caribbean Community (CARICOM) summit in Nassau, the Bahamas capital, to examine climate change resilience and urge them to have conversations with other nations at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27) occurring in Egypt in November. Davis stated, “Make developed countries honor past pledges for climate assistance.”
In a speech, Bahamas Prime Minister Philip Davis stated that smaller nations have already begun to feel the severe effects of climate change and, thus, need to put pressure on developed countries to offer more financial aid to mitigate its effects.
According to Reuters, he added, “If we advance our interests merely as individual small island developing states, our voices will be dispersed, unable to be heard above louder, wealthier, carbon-producing interests.”
Davis also urged that at the upcoming climate meetings in Egypt in November, a critical eye must be used to observe the pledges made in the past by nations at previous climate summits. He also suggested the development of new criteria for selecting which countries can receive aid from their wealthier counterparts be developed.
Davis was heartened by recent climate change mitigation measures by the United States and Australia, but he admitted that “we are commitment-fatigued and pledge-fatigued.” He said that rich countries had failed to meet their pledge of $100 billion in climate aid to impoverished countries by 2020.
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In recent years, the Caribbean countries have been hit by more hurricanes and flooding. The cost of rebuilding after natural disasters have left many of the nations in debt, with some sources citing the debt as upward of $5 billion. Many of the Caribbean countries have high per-capita income which prevents them from being eligible for aid but the leaders insist that the current metric in place does not account for the debt incurred from actively combatting climate change and natural disaster events.
Even with little funding, some Caribbean countries have launched climate change mitigation activities. In the Commonwealth of Dominica, for example, the Housing Revolution Program has supplied, and continues to offer, climate-resilient housing to over 2,000 Dominican households.
The government has committed the remaining eight residential developments on the island, as well as infrastructure projects in health care, transportation, and education, to MMC Development Ltd., the developing arm of the United Arab Emirates-based Corporation Montreal Management Consultants.
Since collaborating with Dominica’s government, MMC Development Ltd. has completed eight housing projects.
MMC CEO and President Anthony Haiden stated in a previous interview that sustainability is their top concern for all projects.
Haiden added, “Despite the economic, political, and logistical challenges, MMC Development has delivered sustainable projects and we are always committed to complying with the government’s mandate to develop green structures,”
18 Caribbean leaders attended the two-day summit in Nassau, Bahamas. The gathering is planned to produce an “outcome paper” that will be presented at COP27. Since the Caribbean is vulnerable to climate change effects, such as flooding, drought, and tropical storms, it is in their best interest to band together at COP27 and voice their concerns to countries that have not stayed committed to their climate pledges.