Minister in Economic Affairs and Investment, Marsha Caddle, has stressed that any discussion on climate resilience must emphasise financing, especially as small island developing states (SIDS) seek to implement the mitigation and adaptation measures agreed to in their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
She made this point during a recent courtesy call with the new British High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Scott Furssedonn-Wood, at the Ministry’s Warrens Office location.
Minister Caddle announced during the visit that Cabinet had approved Barbados’ NDC, which is now among the most ambitious of those submitted by countries under the Paris Agreement.
The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change entered into force on November 4, 2016, requests each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, in their NDCs. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
She stressed, however, that these ambitious plans for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, primarily through massive scaling up of renewable energy, had to be matched with investments in making Barbados more resilient to loss and damage from the effects of climate change, especially drought, coastal pollution and hurricanes.
“The issue of resilience starts at the individual and household level. The issue of people’s homes being secure; making sure that people can withstand disaster; making sure that resilience is built in at every infrastructural level is key,” Ms. Caddle explained.
She highlighted in order for that to happen, developed countries that contribute most to emissions must close the financing gap through practical instruments like natural disaster clauses and resilience bonds.
High Commissioner Furssedonn-Wood, who agreed with Minister Caddle, expressed the view that there needs to be a “holistic framing” when addressing matters of climate change and ease of access to financing, especially for SIDS, who are at the frontline of the impacts from climate change, and need to build resiliency.
The resilience discussion also covered the impact of the La Soufriere volcano on St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Barbados; the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference (COP26); the Roofs to Reefs Programme; and the damage to homes caused by the recent, sudden storm event in Barbados. The two officials also touched on the proposed minimum global tax and education.
Also present at the courtesy call were Permanent Secretary, Annette Weekes; Programme Director of the Roofs to Reefs Programme, Ricardo Marshall; Special Envoy, Dr. Hugh Sealy; Political Officer from the British High Commission, Gilly Metzgen, and Economic Adviser, Nicholas Wintle, from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.