Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley delivering the prestigious 16th Prebisch Lecture today, at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva. (GP)

If Barbados had the resources to fight climate change and apply the necessary scientific research to deal with the issue, it would do so, says Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley.

Ms. Mottley underscored the importance of dealing with climate change as she delivered the prestigious 16th Prebisch Lecture today, at the Palais des Nations, in Geneva, on the topic: Invisible Yet Indispensable.

The Prime Minister said Barbados could not fight the climate change battle alone, and expressed conviction though that if climate change mattered enough to countries, then they would choose to end it.

“We achieve what we put our resources behind….  When are countries going to summon the political will to halt and to reverse climate change?  It is as if we are watching a horror movie or having a bad dream.  But when I pinch, I feel the pain and know that we are very much awake and living in the worst of times,” she told her audience.

Prime Minister Mottley noted that an increasing amount of money would be spent to solve climate change, but more must be done.

“The nation that wins the technological race to beat climate change will become the most powerful nation in the world,” she contended.

Ms. Mottley said there was a need to mobilize persons as influencers to alter the domestic political agenda of many states and suggested that young people and artistes of the world must lead this effort to highlight the new manifestations of climate change.

She proffered the view that the children would rise up because their lives were being sacrificed on the altar of greater profits and convenience of a few. 

“Coalitions must be formed, and mercifully, technology allows those coalitions to be formed beyond boundaries, by our young people.  That is the force that I believe will be the tipping point to cause nations of the world and powers to understand that it cannot be business as usual,” she stated.

(Stock Photo)

The Prime Minister told the gathering that there was a need for a colloquium on insurance, especially since the resources were too small to cover the damage taking place as a result of powerful hurricanes. 

She added that self-insurance could not work for those countries on the frontline of climate change.

“Indeed, those on the frontline will not be able to afford the premiums for the rising and correlated threats of loss and damage caused by climate change,” she said.

She expressed the view that those who caused this climate change should contribute to the premiums.

“You hear us from our region tell you…we are on a frontline of a battle that we did not start and it cannot be morally fair for us to have our people pay premiums that they cannot afford, and that are as a result of the actions of others and imposed on us.”

According to Ms. Mottley, linking contributions to those responsible for the greenhouse gases would provide financing and incentives to bring a halt to climate change.

“Who feels it knows it.  Those who must pay will alter their behaviour and if we continue to believe that those who caused it shall get away without payment at all times, it is only a matter of time before they too become victims of their own negligent behaviour, even if we are the sacrificial lambs up front,” she said.

sharon.austingilll-moore@barbados.gov.bb

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