Regional Climate Change Conference Preview

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This week The Bahamas will host the first high level regional climate change conference. Seventeen partners from across the Caribbean are expected to be in attendance. At a preview of the two day event, ZNS news spoke with Charles Hamilton, Special Advisor at the Office of the Prime Minister on climate issues.

Mr. Hamilton said, “climate change is an important issue, from unusual hot temperatures to significant rain, new diseases and of course devastating hurricanes. This is how come The Bahamas along with other members of the Caribbean has come together here at Bahamar to address this issue of climate change going into the UN climate change conference in Egypt in November. We know that we are at the first lines of climate change and we need to have our voice being louder and bolder as possible. We need to put forward climate solutions to address our energy security issues, food security issues, having sustainable tourism and ensuring that we get the much needed finances that for the impact from climate disasters such as hurricanes. One of the main things we want to be able to focus on as well is how to move about getting climate risk insurance. Ensuring that our region, which we know gets impacted by hurricanes so often, the insurance rates can sometimes be so high but we want to ensure that our countries, our people can be able to be covered for damages caused by hurricanes.”

Mr. Hamilton also spoke to the outcomes that organizers are hoping for at the conclusion of the event saying, “we want to see how we can secure better energy security for our region. We know that energy costs are high, we need it to be renewable, we need it to be affordable. The second thing is we want to ensure that we are all moving on the same voice when we go on the UN stage. We need to demand more for our people, faster and quicker. Because we know that the impact of climate change are not just in the future, we are feeling it now. The third thing as well, we want this same meeting to be something that is on the UN calendar every single year. We may be a small region, with oonly about twenty something odd countries but we are at the front lines of climate change and our people do not want us to be staying on the sidelines anymore.”

The holding of this conference was announced by Prime Minister Davis earlier this month where he said, “The Bahamas is introducing this conference as we seek to get results in the climate change fight.” He also express at that time that, “This meeting will position the Caribbean region to take control of our fate and present a unified position to the world at COP27.”