The Regional Climate Change Conference, held at the Bahamar Resort, which attracted leaders from across the Caribbean including Barbadian Prime Minister, Mia Mottley, has come to an end. Prime Minister, the Hon. Philip Brave Davis, while addressing those in attendance said that a draft summary of the event should be available by the end of the week.
Charles Hamilton, Climate Change Advisor in the Office of the Prime Minister, expressed that some of the major takeaways from the two day talks were, “these leaders are fired up and they’re ready to go ahead and combat this issue of the climate crisis swiftly and going into COP 27. What we want to go ahead and do is ensure that there is funding available to address the significant loss and damages that are experienced in our region. And I think that the Prime Ministers who were here today expressed that very very clearly. That we need support to address the various loss and damage that our various countries are experiencing now and from future storms. We’ve also talked about ways how we can go ahead and procure much needed food, equipment and supplies to be able to address the climate crisis so that that way our people can be able to survive after a storm has traveled. We also talked about innovative means to be able to reduce the interest paid on loans so that we are not being punished for a climate disaster occuring in our country and that interest being put on our people. So, I know that the note were are going to put together and share among the heads will be something that really brings together all of their efforts and plans going into COP and that will be a key document for us moving forward.”
Leaders at the conference expressed that climate change is not an individual government issue but a regional issue. Mr. Hamilton said, “I think that what people get it mix up is that climate change is not an environmental issue. Climate change is not a government issue. It’s a whole of people issue. We need to protect people. We need to protect our environment. We need to protect just all of the resources that we have been given. And I think that at the end of the day when we put people, right, at the focus of this and that when we as people recognize that we must be at the center of this fight. We have to support our government. We need to support the NGOs. We need to support all the groups that are fighting to ensure that our lives and livlihoods can continue. We enjoy a particular way of live and climate change is impacting that. As so, I’m looking forward for persons in The Bahamas to talk about the issue of climate change and find ways that you can engage with your government.
The Regional Climate Change Conference is expected to occur on an annual basis.