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Bahamas has 'great stake' in climate change conversation

Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing, with ministry colleagues Camille Johnson, Permanent Secretary, and Dr Rhianna Neely, Environmental Scientist, on Friday.

Kenred Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing, with ministry colleagues Camille Johnson, Permanent Secretary, and Dr Rhianna Neely, Environmental Scientist, on Friday.

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

ENVIRONMENT and Housing Minister Kendred Dorsett has heralded the enactment of the Paris Agreement, charging that the international law gives Small Island Developing States (SIDS) the means by which to hold "developed countries" accountable for greenhouse gas emission.

On Friday at the Ministry of Environment and Housing on Charlotte Street, Mr Dorsett said though the Bahamas is a "low emitter" of carbon on a global scale, it still has a "great stake" in the "global conversation about climate change, its effects, remediation, loss and damage and the course of action to address it."

As such, Mr Dorsett said the "landmark agreement" is key to protecting SIDS like the Bahamas, as well as simultaneously unifying "the global community in its fight to stop global warming."

"Climate change is real and for those of us who live in SIDS like the Bahamas we are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change," he said. "Scientists unanimously agree that without immediate intervention, the continuing temperature rise endangers human life, threatening a wipeout of populations as sea levels rise."

Mr Dorsett pointed to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) over the correlation between intensity of Atlantic hurricanes and climate change. 

According to Mr Dorsett, the study concluded that climate change is causing hurricanes to "become more intense and to have higher rainfall amounts".

"This intensity was evidenced nearly a month ago when Hurricane Matthew hit the Bahamas leaving widespread devastation from winds and water surges that reached up to 15 feet in some areas. Undoubtedly, we have a great stake in the global conversation about climate change, its effects, remediation, loss and damage and the course of action to address it."

To that end, Mr Dorsett said the Christie administration has taken steps to better align its policies with the stipulations outlined in the Paris Agreement. Those include the reduction and/or elimination of tariffs on solar systems, including panel inverters and light-emitting diode (LED) components and energy efficient appliances. 

Mr Dorsett also said the Bahamas has joined a number of international organisations that are focused on increasing renewable energy usage, such as the International Renewable Energy Agency and the Carbon War Room. 

Mr Dorsett also said the government has formulated the Bahamas National Energy Policy, which he said serves as a "road map to a secure energy future by the year 2033". He said the Residential Energy Self Generation (RESG) Programme and Renewable Energy Plans are now being reviewed by the Utilities Regulation and Competition Authority (URCA) for "execution and implementation".

Mr Dorsett  also said the Youth Environmental Corps was established last month, which he said not only trains young Bahamians in "the conservation of our natural resources" but also promotes individual environmental responsibility. 

"It is now up to the nations of the world to follow through on commitments made in this accord," he said. "My ministry played an integral role in the Bahamas ratifying the Agreement on August 22 of this year and the Government of the Bahamas is steadfast in its commitment to taking definitive action to save the planet. 

"My ministry is proud to be at the forefront of this historic step forward that will positively improve the lives of generations of Bahamians. The Paris Agreement gives us a means to hold larger developing and developed countries, who are the world's largest emitters of greenhouse gas, accountable. 

"This begins a new era of action and results."

The Paris Agreement, signed in April and which came into effect on Friday, is a landmark deal that ultimately seeks to limit global warming to 2C (3.6F). 

Ninety six countries have formally joined the accord so far, with more countries expected to come aboard in the coming weeks and months, according to international reports.

Comments

ThisIsOurs 7 years, 8 months ago

Stop selling government garbage contracts for 5000-10000 dollars per month

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