With a very active hurricane season projected for 2018 and reminiscing on the impacts the season had on the region in 2017, Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell has advocated the need for intense action by the Commonwealth in preparing for its members for the adverse effects of Climate Change.
Dr. Mitchell was addressing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Summit in the United Kingdom last week.
He proposed that two things ought to be done including the fact that Commonwealth countries should build resilience and to have the Paris Agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) implemented in order for countries to be ready for the changes or to avert the effects foreseen.
“This is necessary to ensure that the international community is focused on achieving the emissions reductions that are necessary for the survival of many of our small island developing states and for implementing the mechanisms that were agreed upon to strengthen our resilience building capacities,” he said.
“With regards to building resilience in our countries, this requires that we develop the ability to withstand the impact of climate change as well as recover quickly when the impact happens. It also requires significant investment in strengthening our infrastructure, developing new policy frameworks and developing the capacity of our people,” he added.
Prime Minister Mitchell referred to the recent formation of the new Ministry of Climate Resilience, Environment, Fisheries, Forestry, Disaster Management and Information, headed by Sen. Simon Stiell to provide the attention that is needed with Climate Change.
He called for assistance to be given to the Commonwealth to ensure that Climate Change be dealt with.
“We know that as Small Islands Developing States, we do not always have the resources to do what’s necessary to protect our people and our national assets. We therefore continue to solicit and welcome additional assistance from the Commonwealth family to enable us to access the required resources”, he said.
“We cannot overemphasise the need to advocate for changes in the global financial architecture including the incorporation of vulnerability considerations in accessing finance and in determining whether or not countries graduate from one level to another”, he added.
Dr. Mitchell is confident that the Commonwealth family with its diverse membership is well placed to “continue championing the needs of our smaller and more vulnerable brothers and sisters and I look forward to working together to address these issues.”