Categorized | National News

PM Davis Calls for Developed Nations to Take Accountability for Climate Crisis

By: Keile Campbell

Prime Minister Philip Davis advocated for accountability and solutions from developed
countries who contribute the most towards the climate change crisis though Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) such as The Bahamas continue to feel the brunt effects of the
consequences due to climate change.
Speaking to fellow nation leaders and representatives at the 2nd Caribbean Small Island
Developing States (SIDS) High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change in St. Georges, Grenada
the prime minister continued to call for the fulfillment of financial commitments made at
previous climate change forums.
“The urgency of our work could not be clearer. Even in the best-case scenarios – even if the
world can make significant progress in reducing fossil fuel emissions (progress that in reality
is far from assured) – for the foreseeable future, our region will continue to experience
warming oceans, rising waters, and more intense hurricanes. Since the start of the Industrial
Revolution, more than a trillion tons of carbon dioxide have been released into our earth’s
atmosphere.” Prime Minister Davis explained,
“Try as they might to skirt around the issue, the industrialized north will need to make the
most sizable adjustments. It is, after all, their development which has brought us to this point.
We must call on our partners in the North to deliver on the commitment they made at COP15
in Copenhagen, to mobilise US$100 billion per year by 2021. This is the very same goal,
which was reiterated at COP21 in Paris, and extended to 2025. To date, they have yet to reach
this target. My friends, it makes no sense shooting arrows at new targets, when the bullseye
of two decades before has yet to be hit,” the prime minister said.
Prime Minister Davis went on to call for all SIDS to form a unified voice and communicate
“clear ideas and a common purpose” finding commonalities threading between all SIDS
despite operating under “different geopolitical contexts”.
Commonalities such as residing in the same hurricane alley, relying on tourism as the main
industry of income and climate change threatening the existence of “a beautiful island
“I grew up on a small island in The Bahamas that is big on community. It was the kind of
tight knit place where even your neighbours felt like family, and that is exactly how I feel
about all of you. My brothers and sisters, ours is a common heritage, and a shared future. Let
us use this forum to identify our priorities, focus our efforts, and fight for a sustainable future.
A future in which the months from June to November do not spell certain doom for the
countries of the Caribbean.” Prime Minister Davis rallied.
“Key to a future in which our region flourishes will be our sustained commitment to seeing a
loss and damage fund come to full fruition. The adoption of this fund at COP27 was a

remarkable achievement of Caribbean solidarity, one which we cannot afford to let fall by the
“The time has come to double down on our efforts. To tell these developed nations to ‘write
the cheque’, as they have kicked the can down the road for far too long. We cannot leave
COP28 without the first pledge for funding identified. This is no minor undertaking. But if
they are the big tree, we are the small axe!”
While boasting of the recently announced Bahamas Sustainable Investment Programme as a
step in the direction of meeting the targets set out by the Paris Agreement and the UN
Sustainable Development Goals, Prime Minister Davis called for the Caribbean region to not
sit idle.
He lamented how SIDS have to manage debts caused by climate change while current
international financial institutions do not help with their plight.
“International financial institutions need to be overhauled to deliver on a fit-for-purpose
approach to lending due to loss and damage from climate impacts. These institutions, in
tandem with International Multilateral Development Banks, must re-evaluate their purpose,
approach, and objectives when dealing with SIDS. An appropriately weighted,
multidimensional vulnerability index must be adopted, if access to concessional development
finance is to be made available to the states which need it most.
“Despite the daunting task ahead of us, I do believe we can get it done. I do believe our
region is on the cusp of an exodus – a journey out of vulnerability, and into resilience.
“Fundamental to this quest will be our ability to engage and empower our youth. For the
Caribbean to go from strength to strength, we must edify, uplift, and enlist the assistance of
our youth. The fight against climate change is only just beginning, and soon enough we will
need to rely on a new generation of environmental leaders.
“If the youth of our region are to blaze trails, we must first light a fire inside them. So let us
welcome the next generation into the fold. Let us harness their fresh perspectives and critical
agility, as we embark on a path toward greater Caribbean resilience,” Prime Minister Davis
The nation’s leader underlined that the fundamental importance of engaging and empowering
youth as he called on the Caribbean, as a region, to “go from strength to strength” in edifying,
uplifting and enlisting young person to the fight against climate change which he warns is
only just beginning.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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