(FILE) Photo of Dominica after the passage of Tropical Storm Erika on August 28, 2015.EFE/Robert Tonge

Caribbean islands demand developed countries’ accountability for climate change

San Juan, Sept. 28 (EFE) – The second High-Level Dialogue on Climate Change of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) of the Caribbean began Thursday in Granada with demands for action from developed countries due to the effects of the climate crisis.

In his opening remarks, Grenada’s Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell said the region’s countries have nothing to apologize for in demanding that the developed world live up to its commitments to address the effects of climate change.

Mitchell told the audience, including the prime ministers of the Bahamas, Phillip Davis, and St Kitts and Nevis, Terrance Drew, that most of the beaches on the northeast coast “have already disappeared” in his country.

“The question is: should we continue to sit back and watch our way of life disappear while those who created the Industrial Revolution continue to enjoy a high standard of living?” he lamented.

According to Mitchell, developed countries are beginning to experience the effects of climate change, such as unusually warm weather and wildfires, but “they can respond.”

“They can move inland, they can move to a whole new state, we can’t. If the sea level rises, there’s nowhere to go in the Bahamas. That’s the reality we face,” he added.

In the face of these challenges, he urged SIDS to be present and united at all meetings where this issue is being addressed, such as the upcoming United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) in Dubai.

“To lose hope would essentially be to give up on the next generation of Caribbean islanders who will live and thrive on these islands,” he said.

The Bahamas Prime Minister also said that at COP28, it is critical for developing countries on the front lines of the climate crisis to hold the developed world accountable.

“No matter how much they try to avoid the problem, the industrialized North must make the most important adjustments. After all, their development has brought us to this point,” he denounced.

During COP27 in Egypt, the creation of a Loss and Damage Fund was approved: the compensation that developing countries must receive for the effects of climate change that they have barely contributed to causing.

Caribbean SIDS are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, which will become critical if adequate measures are not taken.

The two-day meeting will focus on financing the transition to renewable energy in the Caribbean and transforming the international financial architecture, among other issues. EFE