‘Next Hurricane Can Wipe Us Out’


Tribune Business Editor


The Bahamas “must be at the table” in developing a financial compensation mechanism for climate change, a top official said yesterday, adding: “The next hurricane can wipe us out.”

Rochelle Newbold, the Department of Environmental Planning and Protection (DEPP) director, argued that The Bahamas’ presence at the upcoming 2021 United Nations Climate Change conference was vital to try and seek redress for environmental change this nation is not responsible for.

With The Bahamas having suffered an estimated $3.4bn in economic losses and damage as a result of Hurricane Dorian, Ms Newbold told a press conference at the Prime Minister’s Office that this nation bore no responsibility or influence over the global warming thought to be producing sea level rise and increasingly more frequent and powerful hurricanes.

Asserting that “even if The Bahamas did 100 percent of what we ought to do” in living up to its Paris climate accords commitment, she added that this nation was “a drop in the bucket” when compared to major green house gas emitters such as China, the US and major industrialised nations.

“We need to be there to ensure The Bahamas gets a fair share,” Ms Newbold said, referring to talks on a potential funding mechanism that would potentially help compensate small island developing states (SIDS) for losses and damage stemming from hurricanes and other climate-related events.

The Bahamas has consistently struggled to access grant financing and other forms of development funding for several decades due to its high per capita income levels, and the DEPP director warned that this nation could suffer the same fate on climate change if it was not present in Glasgow at COP26 to make its case.

“People look at The Bahamas and say we’re too rich, we have all these hotels, drive all these fancy cars and do all these things,” she added. “We do need money. The next hurricane can truly wipe out this country.”

Ms Newbold said The Bahamas also needed to exploit potential opportunities such as carbon credits, particularly given its large coastal sea area - something she branded as the biggest in the region, and more expansive than all other Caribbean countries combined.

She explained that The Bahamas now has an opportunity to use its sea grass, mangroves and coral reefs as “currency” when it came to carbon credits, adding: “The environment is our economy. It’s important for us to be there. It’s financially important, it’s socially important, and it’s important to ensure we are part of this global discussion.

“If you are not part of the international discussions, you do not exist on this planet. We have to be there in order to have a voice. We’re going to COP26 to talk about this [financing] mechanism for loss and damage. We suffered damage and loss. We suffered the event [Dorian].

“If we are not there to ask the question, and who pays, they will say it’s your country, your damage and you should pay.”


ThisIsOurs 1 month, 1 week ago

"If we are not there to ask the question, and who pays, they will say it’s your country, your damage and you should pay."

I hope we can answer their what you do with the money you get question


bahamianson 1 month, 1 week ago

It can , but it won't. Stop being a drama queen.


OMG 1 month, 1 week ago

What makes me laugh is the ongoing debate about reducing carbon emissions, coming from the likes of Meghan Markle , Borris Jonhson and a host of other assorted people is that the common middle and lower class are supposed to bear the brunt of all these changes whilst the likes of world leaders prince Harry ,CEO's and film stars continues on their merry way with private jets, A/C on all day or gas heating on all day in cold climates, buying an electric car and so on. When the rich stop emitting their vast amounts of carbon and live like me then I will adjust my lifestyle.


Dawes 1 month, 1 week ago

We don't care about the environment unless we can make some money out of it. How can we say we need to be paid due to climate change when every other year we allow another cruise ship company more land so they can have more ships come here. Why is it that we put road blocks in the way of people going solar, why is it that every day we allow these trucks to spew exhaust fumes and nothing is done. We are only up in arms as we hope to make some money.


C2B 1 month, 1 week ago

Western countries are worried about their own climate issues like forest fires, drought, floods, Hurricanes (yes they are a global issue), not ours. And yes we are on the list of poorly managed Countries, so there is little empathy. Look at Haiti; no one is sending one red cent to a corrupt place regardless of the images and situation.


tribanon 1 month, 1 week ago

Someone tell Rochelle Newbold that we will have long been wiped-out by COVID-666 before the next great hurricane like Dorian comes our way.

Red China, which is responsible for over two-thirds of the total annual pollution killing our planet, no longer has to rely on climate changes arising from their pollutants to snuff us all out. They can simply unleash on us the mother-of-all bio-engineered viruses they have no doubt created by now, i.e. COVID-666. And if COVID-666 doesn't kill us, we can be rest assured the vaccine for it will do so. My oh my, please say it ain't so!


GodSpeed 1 month, 1 week ago

If a CAT-5 hits Nassau and sits on it like what happened in Grand Bahama with Dorian, it's over.


Proguing 1 month, 1 week ago

It's politicians who are wiping us out....

On a more serious note maybe we could start by not burning bucker C fuel for our electricity, not allowing oil burning cars on the road etc.


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