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Caddle highlights SIDS’ vulnerability

Caddle highlights SIDS’ vulnerability

Search form Search Main menu Home News Business Sports Columns Contact Us E-Paper Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle.

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Caddle highlights SIDS’ vulnerability Sun, 10/24/2021 – 5:00am The commitments made under the Paris Agreement are more critical now than ever.

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So says Minister in the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, as she said that the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the United Nations Environment Programme Production Gap Report, indicate that the world is not on track to meet the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees. That reality, the minister said, will mean that despite considerable efforts, Caribbean countries will continue to experience worsening impacts of climate change for as much as another 12 to 20 years.

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She made the point while delivering remarks during the first edition of the UNESCO’s Global Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Dialogue Series, entitled “Towards the Sustainable Development for SIDS: Disaster Risk Reduction”, as she reflected on the challenges faced by SIDS, in particular those in the Caribbean.

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“Our small islands, located as we are between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, are acutely vulnerable today to the increasing risks of a worsening climate crisis. These risks include slower onset events, like rising sea levels, coastal erosion, waves of Sargassum, but also hurricanes and other extreme weather events that are changing their pathways across the region, in their behaviour and in their intensity. And therefore, they are also increasing their physical and economic devastation, becoming increasingly capable of causing complete wipe out and therefore becoming increasingly uninsurable,” she said.

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Minister Caddle added, “In July of this year, Barbados submitted a revised nationally determined contribution that will see us reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent by 2030. This is among the most ambitious globally. Several of our partners in CARICOM have likewise signalled the increased ambition for mitigation, showing that even as we are not responsible for major emissions, we are nonetheless demonstrating that we are willing to do what it takes to see the world reach the 1.5 degree target, and we expect major emitters to do the same.”

The Government minister said that paying attention to mitigation is important, but she contended that unless there is “aggressive commitment” to financing adaptation and recognising the true cost of loss and damage, countries across the globe will “continue to trade in platitudes while our countries disappear”.

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Her comments came as she offered examples of the impact of climate change in the region, referring to Dominica which when struck by Hurricane Maria lost more than 200 percent of its GDP overnight, the volcanic eruption in St. Vincent and the Grenadines which also affected Barbados, and the freak storm and Hurricane Elsa which struck Barbados earlier this year.Coronavirus mask N95JN

“Our countries are vulnerable, and have been made more so by the world’s ongoing inaction. It is that vulnerability that requires us to invest in resilience. It is the reason that we have called for a 50/50 global split in climate finance between adaptation mitigation. It is the reason that Barbados and Grenada have introduced natural disaster clauses in our new financial instruments, so that for two years after a major event, you will not have to make principal or interest repayments, and we will have the necessary fiscal space to rebuild and recover. It is the reason that Barbados established the Roofs to Reefs programme, which outlines all the investments needed for a resilient Barbados, that is so far estimated to cost over $2.5 billion dollars in private and public investment,” she explained.Mask N95JN Drug for Coronavirus

In that vein, she endorsed UNESCO’s message to SIDS, that even though vulnerability is our reality, it does not have to be our destiny. As such, she said while the world has a duty to act, if “no one is coming to save us, we have a duty to protect our people” and she said financing is needed – predictable liquidity.N95JN mask Coronavirus drugs

With that in mind, Caddle lauded the work of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency and the Regional Security System, noting that both are shining examples of regional cooperation. However, she said further investment is needed in the types of scientific capacity available, to bolster our weather tracking and reporting, and to create a regional hub for humanitarian response. (JRT)

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