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‘Time is a luxury we do not have’, Davis warns at COP28

PRIME Minister and Minister of Finance Philip Davis speaks during his National Statement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 28), on December 2, 2023, held in Dubai, UAE.
Photo: OPM

PRIME Minister and Minister of Finance Philip Davis speaks during his National Statement at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP 28), on December 2, 2023, held in Dubai, UAE. Photo: OPM

By Leandra Rolle

Tribune Staff Reporter

lrolle@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Philip “Brave” Davis warned world leaders that “time is a luxury we do not have” as he once again called for urgent action to fight climate change at the Conference of the Parties (COP 28) in Dubai on Saturday.

He welcomed delegates’ pledges to introduce a loss and damage fund for small island developing states, but questioned how long it would take before the fund materialises.

“How long must we now wait to have this new fund capitalised, and how long must we wait before we can access the funds?” he asked at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) meeting.

“Time is a luxury we do not have, and so we are left wondering how we should interpret the pledges of this COP. So little pledged, given what is needed. So late in the day, given what is forecast.”

“Is the effort here more to reduce the ‘noise pollution’ generated by our advocacy, rather than to address the carbon reduction and climate financing so urgently needed?”

“Are we expected to remain quietly grateful? Frankly, we do not understand why everyone does not share our sense of urgency.”

Mr Davis said although the country didn’t experience hurricanes this year amid high temperatures, tropical storms and depressions in the area brought heavy flooding, interrupted power supply and led to loss of revenue.

“Over the coming six months, before the next hurricane season begins, we can use the time to strengthen our National Youth Guard,” he said.

“We can build more homes out of the ground-breaking, carbon-negative, ocean-resistant concrete pioneered by a Bahamian company, Partanna, headed by entrepreneur Rick Fox.”

“We can also raise more finance using our blue carbon credits, backed by our extensive underwater fields of seagrasses, which absorb more carbon than the Amazon rainforest.”

He urged leaders to prioritise environmental action over “narrow economic interests,” adding that vulnerable states “simply want to live.”

“We still live in a world where financing always seems immediately available for the bullets and the bombs. This is a choice,” he said.

“We still live in a world where narrow economic interests continue to drive an increase in the burning of fossil fuels. This is also a choice.”

“But we have no choice. Our plight is not seen in the images of women and children bleeding in the streets. Our plight is mostly invisible: the slowly warming seawater, slowly rising up through our porous limestone islands.”

Comments

ThisIsOurs 4 months, 2 weeks ago

Yawn. What about the 200 sq acres of mangroves thst were destroyed? Are companies still being allowed to cut down hills and destroy trees in Andros for soil?

I read this allegory in high school in a geography book regarding Haiti. Over time, they systematically cut down all the trees in the name of commerce, then when the rains came they started experiencing the devastating mudslides. Hills soil and trees absorb rainwater, ask Nassau that has seen significant increase in flooding with concrete poured over soil, swamps filled in, hills and trees destroyed

Come home and read speeches to Bahamians about what we are doing to ourselves. Come quick while there is a Bahamas.

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