St. Georges, Grenada – Today Prime Minister Philip Davis issued a clarion call to Caribbean Leaders, urging them to unite and transform COP28 into a platform for genuine action, accountability and climate justice.
The Prime Minister, accompanied by Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Vaughn Miller, attended the 2nd Caribbean Small Island Developing States (SIDS) High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change, where The Bahamas was designated “Regional Champion for Resilience, Adaptation, and Loss & Damage” in keeping with its leadership on the global stage in this advocacy.
The meeting focused on six themes encompassing loss & damage, transition to renewables, financial infrastructure, conservation, accelerating e-mobility, and data & transparency. It is the second installation of the annual regional meeting of Heads of Government and High-Level Ministers, which was launched by The Bahamas last year with the intention of consolidating and amplifying the regional position ahead of the United Nations Conference of The Parties (COP) – The world’s largest platform for climate change dialogue, advocacy, and action.
In his opening remarks, Prime Minister Davis invoked Caribbean unity and tenacity to combat the lamentable lack of action of developed nations in meeting their climate goals
“We must call on our partners in the North to deliver on the commitment they made at COP15 in Copenhagen, to mobilize US$100 billion per year by 2021. This is the very same goal, which was reiterated at COP21 in Paris, and extended to 2025. To date, they have yet to reach this target.”
He furthermore called the region to action to secure tangible gains for The Caribbean.
“The time has come to double down on our efforts. To tell these developed nations to ‘write the cheque’, as they have kicked the can down the road for far too long. We cannot leave COP28 without the first pledge for funding identified.”
Stressing the need for greater self-sufficiency, the Prime Minister also took the opportunity to invite Caribbean nations to partner with The Bahamas through The Bahamas Sustainable Investment Programme (BSIP), a three-year economic and investment programme designed to incentivize impact investment to address climate change, and reduce the nation’s reliance on funding from global north nations.
“If The Bahamas, or indeed the Caribbean, is to succeed, we cannot be passive actors,” Prime Minister Davis urged. “We must find our own solutions. With this programme, we are spearheading our own climate financing solution, and we invite the region, and the world, to partner with us.”
As Regional Champion for Resilience, Adaptation, and Loss & Damage, the Prime Minister led a round table on the topic, where he outlined specific and critical goals regarding Loss and Damage for the region to attain while at COP28.
“We are now 61 days from COP28, and one critical outcome for the region is the need to operationalize and capitalize the Loss and Damage Fund…The Fund’s initial resource mobilization target should be at least USD 400 billion for a 4-year initial resource mobilization period, and resources committed should be new and additional to adaptation and mitigation finance commitments.
“But if we leave COP28 without action then we must consider what recourse remains. Climate Justice through legal challenge? The question concerning a climate tax or levy on petroleum companies as a funding source for The Fund becomes even more poignant.”
The meeting will continue through Friday September 29th, 2023 where Minister Miller will lead The Bahamian delegation in the regional discussions.
The Second Caribbean SIDS High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change is expected to produce a conclusion document declaring priorities for the region going into COP 28 in Dubai this December.