Prime Minister David Thompson
Barbados and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) will not be party to any new global agreement on climate change unless it comprehensively addresses the issue of financing.
This assertion was made yesterday by Prime Minister David Thompson as he addressed participants at a seminar on “Climate Change and the Caribbean: Strengthening the Science – Policy Interface”, at Accra Beach Resort.
Mr. Thompson identified several elements as being essential to reaching an agreement on adaptation financing, including new and additional financing, predictability of financing, grant-based financing and priority access to financing for the most vulnerable states.
In addition, he suggested that any new financing should be channelled through the Climate Change Convention and any new fund or funds for addressing climate change should be under the guidance and supreme authority of parties to the Convention.
“The governance arrangements of the international financial institutions place small countries at a distinct disadvantage and more often the priorities of these institutions mirror the priorities of those in control.
“Coherence and coordination is required among all actors at the international level utilising the Convention as the fulcrum for action,” the Prime Minister added.
He expressed the view that the Caribbean could and must lead by example and should be more proactive in greening the energy, transport, tourism, housing and financial sectors.
“We must work towards creating carbon neutral public sectors. Our national energy policies must seek to integrate renewable sources of energy in the mix of available energy sources,” Mr. Thompson urged.
He also pointed out that the private sector had a role to play in becoming more energy efficient, noting that energy efficiency was not “just vital to competitiveness but could create a source of new jobs and new industries”.
Prime Minister Thompson opined that the challenge which climate change posed should be used to accelerate innovation, deepen investment in solar and other renewable technologies and promote the mainstreaming of them into the lives of all citizens.