Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley has again underscored the need for all countries to have access to COVID-19 vaccines to protect their citizens.
While addressing the virtual opening of the GCF (Green Climate Fund) Transformational Climate Financing for the Caribbean Region event on Monday, Ms. Mottley said no country is safe unless every country is protected.
The Prime Minister told her audience: “This pandemic…sees some of us less able to access the critical therapeutics and vaccines needed to protect our citizens, because of the size of our countries, and therefore the scope of our power. We confront the failure of the market daily with respect to this pandemic.
“Regrettably, we seem not to be able to acknowledge that until every country is safe, no country is safe. And that does not in any way diminish the efforts that each country must take to be safe, but it cannot replace the collective multilateral action to ensure that the global community is a beneficiary of vaccines across the world. COVID does not detect geography or nationality.”
Ms. Mottley stated that the Roofs to Reefs Programme would be Barbados’ sustainable development model for at least the next decade.
She said the programme had already identified at least US$1 billion of integrated projects across the housing, energy, waste and water sectors.
“That would represent a truly transformative approach to lasting resilience; [and] that would prepare us for our future in a way that our past has not done. In this programme, you will find not just adaptation measures, but those investments that are required to also allow us to meet our target, by 2030, of being fossil fuel free. This is our mitigation target,” she explained.
The Prime Minister said the Caribbean was on the frontline of the climate fight, and its focus was not only on encouraging countries to increase their mitigation, but also on adaptation and building climate resilience.
She proffered the view that if the global community did not act quickly to make up for delays in financing commitments under the Paris Agreement, with respect to climate, then climate refugees fleeing imminent threat of sea level rise and devastation from disaster would be every country’s responsibility.
“This is why Barbados and the Alliance for Small Island States have called for more financing dedicated to adaptation. This is not meant to decrease the amount of finance dedicated to mitigation or to reduce the commitment of small island developing states to mitigation targets…. We call for a significant increase in overall climate finance.
“Keeping warming below 1.5 degrees will require tremendous investment, in both the developed and developing world, to transition energy and transport sectors to renewable energy,” Ms. Mottley asserted.
The Prime Minister said developing countries welcomed the positive signs that the size of adaptation projects funded by the multilateral funds serving the Paris Agreement were increasing, whether the Adaptation Fund, the Green Climate Fund or Global Environment Facility.
She praised the Green Climate Fund for its commitment to allocate at least 50 per cent of its pledged funds to adaptation over the first replenishment period, up to December 2023.