GLASGOW last year, Rwanda this week, Egypt for the COP27 conference in November … with all this jetting around the world, our climate change problems must be on the way to being solved. No?
For Prime Minister Philip “Brave” Davis, this week in Rwanda has been an opportunity to repeat the messages that brought him acclaim in Glasgow.
He talked again of climate change being “the most fundamental, existential threat,” and warned that threat “is not evenly spread.”
He’s right, but … is that it? Is this what happens now? Leaders board a plane, fly to a conference, meet often the same leaders, the same delegation members from different places around the world, everyone frowns and tuts and says how terrible everything is, and off they go again until the next conference.
It is often the same people on a global tour, talking about the problems of climate change among other issues while ticking up the global footprint through the carbon emissions from their planes and fancy hotels.
Mr Davis sounded rightly frustrated about that, too. He said: “Whatever the reason, it is clear that if the situation is not improved, we will fail in our efforts.
“And so my charge today is to ask: ‘What can we, in this room, do to raise awareness of this What can we do to drive urgent action for increased support?”
He reeled off a list – much of it financial, talking about ocean impact investment, assistance with debt incurred from rebuilding after hurricanes and so on, funding for risk alleviation and from wealth funds, saying: “This list more than demonstrates that we know how to do what needs to be done. But why has it not been done?”
Good points – and it also highlights another thing these conferences could do with. As we write this editorial, parents across the country are waiting for their children’s report cards from school to say how well they’ve done. Well, where are each nation’s report cards?
What have we ourselves done? Well, the government has made progress on legislation to take advantage of carbon credits so that polluters can pay us for use of our spare credits, and we can in turn use those funds accordingly. There has been talk of more solar power – but there often is talk that doesn’t amount to action. We shall see if that becomes more definite.
But if every nation at each of these gatherings had to report in to say what they had done since the last meeting, and that progress be recorded, complete with a league table of who is doing the most and least, then we could see if these are just talking shops or if there is definite action as an outcome.
We don’t need just the same old talk from the same old faces on a global tour of new places. We need more than that.
The article on today’s front page about the bid to reverse the percentages for treasure hunting shows the dilemma the government faces.
Expeditions that dive on sunken ships to try to find treasure presently keep 75 percent of the proceeds, while 25 percent goes to the government. The current administration wants to change that. About time, you might say! It’s our treasure, we should get the benefit.
The difficulty is whether that will be enough of a ratio to encourage the expeditions to actually bother. These can be years-long searches, and the costs are borne by the treasure hunters, not the government. Already, the Allen Exploration Group searching in Bahamian waters say it will stop hunting immediately if the new plan proves unworkable. So instead of 25 percent of something, the Bahamian people will be left with 100 percent of nothing as the treasure sits on the sea bed unsalvaged.
We absolutely should get the best return we can from treasure within our waters – but we shouldn’t snuff out the plans of expeditions entirely in the process.
Jonquel Jones is one of the best athletes our country has produced. She is the MVP for the Women’s NBA, a powerhouse on the basketball court, and a recognisable face thanks to her skill, talent and dedication.
Given all of that, and the Bahamas Telecommunication Company’s insistence that it does not discriminate against people, what reason could there possibly be for the company to end its contract with her as a brand ambassador?
If sporting achievement is the benchmark, Jonquel is continuing to shine – and long may she do so.