The first regional climate change meeting has come to an end. At the close of the gathering a press conference was held with heads of government who attended the two day talks. The four noted Caribbean leaders included Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados who said, “its not just a fight for the people of the Caribbean. Its a fight for the people of the global south. The arrogance of the developed world in believing that they will not be failed societies or extinct species is what literally galls us. For us, this is not an issue only for COP anymore. The annual meetings of the World Bank and the IMF, the G20 meetings and the G7 meetings have to take responsibility. Because fundamentally what you’ve heard all of the leaders speak to is the question of lack of access to finance.” Prime Minister Mottley drew reference to Hurricane Elsa which hit Barbados in 2021. She said of the homes damaged, ninety percent belonged to people living below the poverty line and ninety five percent of those homes were uninsured.
The Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, recalled Hurricane Maria which hit his country in 2019 and destroyed ninety percent of its infrastructure. Prime Minsiter Skerrit said that, “we’re in a war…I believe that we also need to take a position that if the final agreement does not contain some of the things that are important to us we should’nt agree to it.”
Dickon Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada said that, “even if you wanted to do solar panels, for example, these solar panels are on rooftops and if they’re on rooftops and these rooftops can’t survive the hurricanes then it means you still face the same problem. So it means you have to get solar panels that are hurricane proof and assuming you can achieve that it means that they would be more expensive then solar panels that would come in an environment that does not have hurricanes.”
At the closing ceremony held, Prime Minister Davis promised the compilation and publication of a draft summary of conference conclusions by week’s end. The Regional Climate Change Conference is expected to become an annual event.