Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley Appeals to Rich Nations at COP27
At the COP27 climate meeting held on Monday, November 7th, in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, Barbados’ Prime Minister Mia Mottley urged wealthy countries to do more to support developing countries in their fight against climate change.
In her remarks, she compared the state of the world to that of colonial times and urged industrialized nations to contribute financial resources to “fight this battle.”
Mottley stated, “We were the ones whose blood, sweat, and tears financed the industrial revolution.”
She added, “Are we now to face double jeopardy by having to pay the cost as a result of those greenhouse gases from the industrial revolution? That is fundamentally unfair.”
She claimed that the rich world’s affluence and high carbon emissions were previously attained at the price of the underprivileged, and that now the underprivileged were being made to pay once more as victims of a climatic breakdown that the underdeveloped nations were not responsible for.
If governments do not address the climate catastrophe, she predicted that there will be one billion climate refugees worldwide by the middle of the century.
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One of the major topics at the COP27 discussions is climate justice—the fact that the poor bear the brunt of the effects of climate change in the form of extreme weather while rich countries have fallen short of their commitments to reduce emissions and to provide aid to the underprivileged in the face of climate breakdown.
The World Bank, which many nations believe has not done enough to focus on the environment, and nations, that make loans rather than grants, came under fire from Prime Minister Mottley, who was speaking at an event hosted by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
According to Mottley, “We need to have a different approach and allow grant-funded reconstruction grants going forward in those countries that suffer from disaster. Unless that happens, we are going to see an increase in climate refugees. We know that by 2050, the world’s 21 million climate refugees today will become 1 billion.”
Mottley is currently collaborating with France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, on a project to give the developing world unprecedented access to financing.
Poor countries that have suffered loss and destruction require a financial framework that will allow them to receive money when climate disasters such as hurricanes, floods, and droughts strike, damaging the infrastructure.