Categorized | National News

Budding Meteorologists Selected to Attend COP28

By Keile Campbell
Journal Staff Writer

Though the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, otherwise known as COP28, is
a few months away, two of the top performing male and female meteorology trainees of the
Niccolo P. Small Meteorology Cadet Programme discovered during the closing ceremony of
the summer-long program that they will be joining the traveling party from The Bahamas
expected to attend COP28.
Donnell Saunders – recipient of the Kenneth Lightbourne Award and Kendell Isaacs –
recipient of the spirit of Donna Duncombe award, expressed their feelings in the moment.
“Man, it feels good. It feels good. My hard work really paid off, and now we’re going to
Dubai,” said Kendell.
“It was great learning something new and going off to Freeport to see the meteorology center.
You know, just to know these things – especially in an area where we actually do get very
severe weather, like hurricanes and stuff like that, it’s great to know these things now and I
can also make this into a career.
“I really just needed something new to do in the summer, honestly, and I did grow to like it
right away.”
Donnell, a teacher herself who signed up for the program after a co-worker recommended it,
said, “The program was very exciting. Our lecturer, Mr. Basil Dean, presented information to
us in a way that was so exciting and that he piqued our curiosity. The field trips that he took
us on even made things more personable. You know, it was not something we just saw on TV,
we got to interact personally with the personnel in those different areas; the Met Office in
Grand Bahama, the Air Traffic Control Office here in New Providence and in Grand
“I am very grateful and honoured that they saw it fit to bestow this award upon me, which got
me an invite to the climate conference in Dubai with the Prime Minister, so that is something
to look forward to,” she added.
During his address to the budding meteorologists, Prime Minister Philip Davis warned that it
may be sooner than they might think when they put their expertise to use.
In an interview, he gave a preview of what he plans to address the world with world leaders
and revealed that though he has many ideas, he will first converge with other Caribbean
leaders so they may go to COP28 with one voice and message.
“Carbon footprints are not being lessened, in fact, to me it seems to be increasing. I think
penalties have to be exacted on oil producing countries or oil producing companies. Maybe a
2 percent tax can go into a fund to help our Small Island Developing States to fend itself from
the consequence of climate change. For example, we may need to consider whether or not
legal action can be taken against what I call, the ‘huge emitters,’ industrialized countries, and

or their multinational corporations and are contributing to carbon monoxide in the air and the
discernment, whether there’s some liability there. At the moment, we are awaiting an
advisory advice from the International Court of Justice to see whether or not we can make
countries responsible for emissions,” Mr. Davis said.
The prime minster listed a litany of other matters he wanted to bring to the world stage,
particularly access to climate disaster funding and how countries qualify for this funding.
“There are a lot of other issues dealing with mitigation, adaptation, losses and damage,
liability, in respect to that, climate financing, ensuring that a proper architecture for accessing
funding is crafted so that countries like ours will not be shut out from financing because from
what they deem to be, we are a ‘graduated’ country because [of] our per capita income is
such that we are considered a middle-income country and therefore, we don’t have access to
grants and the kind of concessionary lending and the fight is to change that model to have
more emphasis on the country’s vulnerability rather than it’s per capita income.”
COP28 will take place in Dubai from November 30 to December 12.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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