PM Thompson Calls For Global Fight To Climate Change

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Prime Minister David Thompson??

There is a need for global ambition in fighting climate change, given that the Caribbean and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are already experiencing many adverse climate change impacts, including more intense hurricanes and sea level rise.

Prime Minister David Thompson made this observation recently, as he participated in a Leadership Panel at a high-level conference on fighting climate change with carbon capture and storage (CCS).

The conference, which was convened by the Government of Norway, was held in Bergen, Norway. Mr. Thompson was specially invited by that country’s Prime Minister, Jens Stoltenberg.

Mr. Thompson told the conference, that as a small, vulnerable, low-lying coastal state that contributed little to global greenhouse gas emissions, Barbados would continue to invest in safe, appropriate, cost-efficient renewable sources of energy for use in the domestic, commercial, industrial and transportation sectors.

"Barbados is already known to be a leader in the development and use of solar water heating technology, and is ranked among the top four countries in the world on the basis of the number of solar water heaters relative to population size," he added.

The Prime Minister noted the potential of CCS and supported the call for global investment in carbon capture and storage. However, he cautioned that these resources should be new and additional to any investments already earmarked for the implementation of global initiatives in energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies.

He also stressed that they should not cause the diversion of financial flows away from global adaptation funds, particularly those allocated to the most vulnerable communities, including SIDS.

Mr. Thompson also called on the UN to put in place an effective international regulatory regime governing the deployment of CCS, to address lingering safety and regulatory concerns.

CCS is a process whereby carbon dioxide is captured from an industrial process, compressed into liquid form, transported through a pipeline or by ship or truck to a suitable geological storage site far underground, and injected. In this way, carbon dioxide emissions are kept out of the atmosphere for an extended period of time.

The aim of the climate change conference was to provide a forum for high-level policymakers, experts, business executives and NGOs to discuss experiences, challenges and prospects for carbon capture and storage as a means to urgently address climate change.??

The Leadership Panel was moderated by Mr. Nic Gowling of the British Broadcasting Corporation. Other participants included Mr. Stoltenberg; Nobel Laureate Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Chair of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change; Executive Director of the International Energy Agency, Mr. Nobuo Tanaka; as well as Ministers of the Environment, Energy and Economic Affairs from Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, Italy, France, Canada, Algeria, Indonesia, Thailand, the Netherlands and China.

During his visit to Norway, Prime Minister Thompson also held bilateral talks with Prime Minister Stoltenberg and sought Norway’s support for the CARICOM Development Fund.

He was accompanied by Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office, Keith Franklin; First Secretary at the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, Selwyn Hart; and Barbados’ Special Envoy on the Environment, Dr. Leonard Nurse.??

gapplewhaite@barbados.gov.bb

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