The Bahamas urges the global community to take climate change more seriously

Bahamas Prime Minister Phillip Davis reiterated the need for developed countries to address climate change more seriously, warning that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) remain vulnerable to environment-related disasters.

Addressing the meeting of regional heads of government of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 27), Davis said three years ago that the Bahamas was hit by a Category 5 storm. Hurricane Dorian devastated Abaco and Grand Bahama, destroying homes, businesses and schools, shattering families and communities and causing the loss of many lives.

“We live in an area used to violent storms. But the scale and scope of this tragedy, and the certainty that more Category 5 storms are in our future, has underscored not only for Bahamians, but for many in the Caribbean, the urgency to fight change. climatic.

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He warned that there is no country on earth where the impact of climate change is not being felt.

“But for small island nations like ours in this region, the threat is existential. The World Meteorological Organization recently reported that sea levels rose faster in the Caribbean region than anywhere else in the world in 2021. This is the front line.

“We know we need to rebuild to be more resilient and adapt to the realities of a warming planet. But it’s a task made more difficult by the economic impact of Dorian – that storm alone has cost our little country billions of dollars,” Phillips said at the start of the two-day meeting, adding “in fact, the half of my country’s debt may be related to hurricane damage.

He said the burning of fossil fuels has generated an enormous amount of wealth, globally, “yet it is countries like ours, who have contributed such a small fraction of global emissions, that are both most vulnerable to the impacts of accelerating climate change and the most severely affected”. well placed to afford coping strategies.

“In other words, those who are least responsible for the climate crisis are paying the highest price,” he said, noting that the gathering here provides an opportunity for like-minded delegates to be able to speak out.” with one voice at the COP”. 27” in Egypt on November 16-17 “on the most vital and urgent climate issues of our time.

“Our goal is to build practical climate finance solutions – those that help us move forward, rather than lead to additional debt. I remain optimistic about our collective ability to meet the challenges of climate change. I believe we can change course,” he added.

Teresa H. Sadler