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Saturday, Sep 24, 2022

Caricom agrees to 'hasten transition' to renewable energy in region– Dr Wheatley

Caricom agrees to 'hasten transition' to renewable energy in region– Dr Wheatley

Virgin Islands Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7) has indicated that the recent meeting on CARICOM Heads of Government, Environment Ministers and Foreign Ministers in the Bahamas on climate finance with officials from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was a fruitful one.

During a press conference on Friday, August 27, 2022, the Premier reminded that the meeting was to discuss financing for Small Island Developing States for adaptation and mitigation measures in response to climate change.

Focus on Global warming


“As we all know, the Caribbean in particular is vulnerable to stronger hurricanes, as well as sea-level rises and droughts. The meeting was also an opportunity to begin coordinating a regional position for the COP27 meeting in Egypt in November where nations from around the world will further consider how to arrest global warming.”

Dr the Hon Wheatley detailed that the Caribbean community is aligned in its view that the countries who are releasing the large majority of CO2 gas emissions into the atmosphere should deliver on their pledges of financial support promised to Small Island Developing States and other groups of vulnerable countries.

Dr Wheatley continued, “We are also of the view that we must hasten our transition to renewable energy to mitigate the economic and environmental risks associated with fossil fuels, such as the sharp spike in the price of oil and gas. This is the crux of the case that CARICOM will be taking to COP 27 in Egypt.”

Dr Wheatley noted that in addition to the general CARICOM position, the Associate Members of CARICOM that attended the meeting in the Bahamas, held a Caribbean Overseas Territories Caucus in the margins to discuss our position.

Dr the Hon Wheatley detailed that the Caribbean community is aligned in its view that the countries who are releasing the large majority of CO2 gas emissions into the atmosphere should deliver on their pledges of financial support promised to Small Island Developing States and other groups of vulnerable countries.


More engagement of UN


“We agreed that greater engagement with the United Nations on alternative forms of climate finance for Overseas Territories was critical as well as further discussions with the United Kingdom Government on financial support and technical assistance to the Overseas Territories to adapt to climate change. The Associate Members present included Anguilla, Bermuda, BVI, Cayman and the Turks & Caicos Islands.

In terms of local efforts on climate change, Dr Wheatley said that Hon. Melvin M. Turnbull announced the Government’s position to reinstate the original Board Members of the Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund.

“I join him in thanking the members for their willingness to resume their duties. They can be assured that Government of National Unity supports the critical and independent work that they will be doing in helping to mobilise and deploy resources to help build the climate resilience of this territory,” he added.

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