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PM presses case for climate change action

PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis.

PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis.

By LYNAIRE MUNNINGS

lmunnings@tribunemedia.net

PRIME Minister Phillip “Brave” Davis said that resiliency and funding are the answers to the climate woes of the Caribbean.

Yesterday, Mr Davis, chair of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), appeared on Atlantic Council Front Page to discuss his vision for CARICOM and the US-Caribbean relationship following his meeting in DC with US officials.

Mr Davis urged those at the forum to ponder answers to what will be done to address the matter of climate change.

He noted that while time “runs out” for preventative action, small island developing states must come to terms with the vulnerability with which they are faced.

In suggesting climate resilience as the “obvious” answer to climate woes, he also acknowledged that the financial toll taken by rising sea levels and frequent storms serves as a threat to funding climate resilience initiatives.

He said: “What we need is more access to climate change -specific funding to mitigate the damage being inflicted each day. 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.

“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,” he added.

Mr Davis also noted that climate resilient infrastructure works hand in hand with regional energy security, as it is a shared goal for the good of the region and the world to move towards cleaner fuels and renewable energy.

Despite acknowledging the lack of resources as a major hindrance, Mr Davis is confident that more action must be taken to equip all nations within the Caribbean for climate resiliency.

“We must work closely with US and international funding agencies to generate the necessary capital investments to make a future powered by renewable energy possible.”

Mr Davis continued: “As for US-Caribbean engagement of this issue, greater investments in the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative is a good place to start to provide the necessary financial and technical support.”

Along with climate resilience, Mr Davis said there is a need for more resilient agri-food systems as 57 percent of English-speaking Caribbean countries face food security issues.

However, the lack of access to funding has contributed to the Caribbean being unable to take “big leaps” forward in agriculture.

Despite embracing innovation in the Caribbean, Prime Minister Davis said financial inclusion has emerged as a major issue across the region.

At the forum, the FTX controversy was also brought up.

Prime Minister Davis noted that the downfall of the cryptocurrency giant is “nothing new”.

During his appearance at Atlantic Council, Mr Davis told the moderator, Jason Marczak, that there were similar instances of such issues before and The Bahamas had cooperated.

“The difference here is that we were in a different space, the crypto digital space,” Mr Davis said yesterday.

“Unfortunately, we do have a legislative regime that was in place. Our regulatory body worked very closely with the US regulatory bodies in various matters to collaborate very often in matters of concern that has cross border issues and so when the FTX issue arose, it was because of the regulatory regime that allowed us to move quickly to preserve assets for participants in the FTX business.”

He credited The Bahamas for having a “more modern” regulatory regime in comparison to the United States, adding that it “saved the day” for many investors.

However, Mr Davis noted that he is looking forward to The Bahamas collaborating with the United States government, as there has been a commitment to provide grant funding and loans to address a number of matters.

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