Barbados is looking forward to building stronger relations with Australia, particularly on matters related to climate change.
Barbados’ Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Climate Change, Law of the Sea, Small Island Developing States, Elizabeth Thompson, highlighted this during a recent courtesy call with Australia’s High Commissioner to Barbados, Bruce Lendon, at Government Headquarters.
Ambassador Thompson raised concerns about potential “wipe out events” brought on by climate change, that could devastate Caribbean countries.
She made reference to events faced by Barbados this year, such as the volcanic ash from La Soufrière volcano in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the extreme weather event, and the passage of Hurricane Elsa.
She lamented that countries like Barbados had to access climate financing and grant funding on their own, in addition to dealing with the threats posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these challenges, Ambassador Thompson pointed out that there were opportunities for cooperation on blue economy matters, and marine explorations.
In response, Mr. Lendon said that climate change was also an issue in Australia, and noted the country was sensitive to issues raised by the Ambassador.
He acknowledged that there were areas for cooperation between the two countries in the future, particularly as they were aware of the impact of climate change and how it affected other countries.
During the visit, Senior Environmental Officer in the Ministry of the Environment and National Beautification, Travis Sinckler, also stated that Barbados was looking at how it could create a research hub for science and technology, as it sought to develop its blue economy.
Other matters discussed included building up the education profile; the establishment of a green bank; climate financing, capital for loss and damage due to severe weather events, and the Caribbean Economic Recovery and Transformation Plan.
Barbados and Australia established diplomatic relations on January 7, 1974.