EDITORIAL: Prime Minister presses climate change message

IT was a busy day for Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis yesterday.

First, he had an appointment at the White House in Washington, DC, where he met US Vice President Kamala Harris.

The talk was of building partnerships, and taking on illegal migration and the flow of guns.

There was also discussion of more detailed topics, such as bringing back pre-clearance facilities for travellers from Grand Bahama.

Often, these meetings can seem as if they might not achieve very much, but being able to air suggestions at that level unlocks the door at levels below. It is very much a diplomatic effort that can benefit the country.

Also mentioned during the visit were efforts to fight climate change – and that is a battle in which we suffer the wounds, but we must call on others to wage the war.

The countries contributing the most to climate change are the ones we need to turn the tide, and having the ear of the White House is important in that we can be there to remind, we can be there to point to the damage suffered from hurricanes, we can be there to point to the projections that say large parts of our country will be underwater in years to come.

Climate change was again on Mr Davis’ agenda when he appeared on Atlantic Council Front Page to discuss his vision for CARICOM and the US-Caribbean relationship.

Mr Davis is the chairman of CARICOM at present, so his voice also carried the weight of other member nations.

He talked of the need to build resiliency to climate change – and of the crucial need for funding.

He said: “We can talk about developing our economies and promoting security all we want, but any talk of sustainable regional development must include a discussion of substantial investments in a climate-resilient future for the Caribbean.”

He’s right. Flood walls need to be paid for. Shifting to climate-friendly technologies has a cost. Building infrastructure doesn’t happen without money to make it happen.

He added: “Climate justice must be more than a buzzword. To avert future economic crises, to protect against future death and destruction, and to prevent a climate change-generated migrant crisis, real action must be taken to equip all nations within our Caribbean community for climate resiliency.”

If we don’t, then when the waters rise, where will the people go? We will see a new wave of migrants – and some of them might be ourselves.

If we fail to prepare for the disasters that may be on the way, economies may crumble. If we needed a warning for what that would look like, the shutdowns and joblessness during the COVID pandemic has been an unwelcome preview.

This is also a warning that has been sounded by successive Prime Ministers of our country, both PLP and FNM. The colour of the shirt has not mattered, the warning has remained the same – we face an existential threat.

So Mr Davis is right to keep drumming home that message. Have we heard it before? Yes. But we need to keep hearing it. More to the point, those in nations with the capability to do something about climate change to stop it getting worse need to keep hearing it.

There are other issues it would be useful to hear from Mr Davis during his CARICOM tenure. But yesterday, he struck the tone that was needed.

We hope people are listening.


Porcupine 2 months, 1 week ago

More than hearing about Tribune, we need to act. We have talked ourselves to death, yet nothing in this country gets done. We must become the change we want to see. So far, we have not done a thing. Nada. Only talk, and beg.


moncurcool 2 months, 1 week ago

So true.

The PM all over talking about climate change and yet BPL still pumping bunker C that affecting the climate and no move towards clean energy.


rosiepi 2 months, 1 week ago

So? Talk is cheap, that’s why it’s the politician’s go to currency.


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