CARIB | Aug 30, 2022

Caribbean leaders urged to push for climate financing

/ Our Today

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Bahamian Prime Minister Phillip Davis making opening remarks at the recently concluded Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting in Preparation for COP27 at the Baha Mar resort in The Bahamas. (Photo: Facebook @OPMBS)

Durrant Pate/Contributor

Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Davis has called for his fellow Caribbean leaders to “make developed countries honour past pledges for climate assistance”, as they convened in the recent meeting of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) in Nassau to discuss climate change resiliency.

In a speech to his CARICOM counterparts, Davis argued that small nations that have already begun to experience severe effects of climate change must pressure developed countries to contribute more financial aid in mitigating its effects.

“If we advance our interests merely as individual small island developing states, our voices will be dispersed, unable to be heard above louder, wealthier, carbon-producing interests,” the prime minister said while suggesting that they create new criteria for determining which countries can receive such assistance at the upcoming climate talks in Egypt in November.

Davis encouraged the recent climate change mitigation efforts by the United States and Australia acknowledging that small island states, like those in the Caribbean, “are commitment-fatigued and we are pledge-fatigued.”

Developed nations failed to honour US$100 billion climate aid pledge

He contended that rich nations had failed to meet the $100 billion pledge in climate aid to poor countries by 2020. In recent years, the Caribbean countries have been experiencing stronger hurricanes and accompanying floods. 

TeleSUR English reported that in the Bahamas, “the consequences of natural disasters have increased sovereign debt by some US$5 billion.” Even with less support, some Caribbean countries have begun their mitigation efforts to address climate change.

In the Commonwealth of Dominica, for example, the Housing Revolution Programme has provided more than 2,000 Dominican families with climate-resilient houses and continues to do so.

The government has entrusted MMC Development—the developing arm of UAE-based company Montreal Management Consultants—to oversee the remaining eight residential projects on the island, along with infrastructure projects on health care, transportation, and education.

MMC Development has completed eight housing projects since working closely with Dominica’s government.

Anthony Haiden, MMC CEO and president, advised, “despite the economic, political, and logistical challenges, MMC Development has delivered sustainable projects and we are always committed to complying with the government’s mandate to develop green structures.” 

Anthony Haiden, CEO of Montreal Management Consultants at the September 2017 launch of the Adopt-A-Child programme in St Kitts and Nevis. (Photo: Facebook @melissa.poponne)

The two-day meeting in Nassau, Bahamas was attended by 18 Caribbean leaders. The event is expected to produce an “outcome paper” that will be presented at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference, commonly referred to as COP27.


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