Categorized | National News

PM: Get Serious About Climate Change

Prime Minister Perry Christie said that until the details of climate change are seriously and sincerely addressed regionally, the severity of storms, such as the recent Hurricane Matthew, will continue to have a devastating effect on island states.

Mr. Christie’s sentiments came yesterday as he addressed the official opening ceremony of Diplomatic Week at the Melia Nassau Resort.

He stressed that such natural disasters have become the “new normal”, and should not be handled as “business as usual”.

“The fact is that we can no longer question whether climate change is valid or not. Weather events – hurricanes, droughts, floods, storms and other environmental threats – are increasing in frequency and intensity, and they have become the new normal. These events take a massive human toll and roll back years of development,” he said.

“This new normal should not devolve into business as usual. We have to put emphasis on actions to reduce and adapt to the impacts of climate change, and also to prepare for, and respond to, these climate-linked threats. The existential threat posed by climate change illustrates with crystal clarity the need for us all to work together.”

Just recently, The Bahamas was among the first group of countries to sign and ratify the Paris Accord on climate change.

As the country aims for sustainable development, Mr. Christie acknowledges that as a small country, The Bahamas would be a challenged.

It is for this reason, that he stresses the importance of partnership with other countries for security and prosperity. He also explained that he feels it is unfair that the country’s economic growth, capacity and prosperity are measured by the per capita GDP.

“The per capita GDP of The Bahamas ranks amongst the highest in the world, and the use of this determinant prohibits The Bahamas and similar small countries from accessing much needed development assistance or concessional loans. It is an extremely misleading measurement that does not show the risks that we face as small nations, nor does it show our vulnerability both to economic and environmental shocks,” Mr. Christie said.

“We have advocated and will continue to press for a change in the use of this measurement and to develop one that takes into account that small island developing states remain a special case for sustainable development in view of their small size, remoteness, narrow resource and export base, and exposure to global environmental challenges.

“Our neighbours in Florida have been most generous with their support, because they know the country and the struggles that we face in bouncing back. Those farther afield do not know. I want to take time out to thank those businesses and private citizens in Florida who have started sending assistance from as soon as the storm abated. There are many other generous citizens from across the globe,” Mr. Christie added.



Written by Jones Bahamas

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