Prime Minister Hon. Roosevelt Skerrit says he will continue to advocate for climate financing for CARICOM countries as they continue to struggle with the effects of climate change.Prime Minister Skerrit recently represented Dominica, and CARICOM, by extension at the ME-Days Forum in Morocco and then at the inaugural CARICOM-Saudi Arabia summit in Saudi Arabia.
He delivered remarks during the opening ceremony of the ME-Days 2023 Forum which was held under the theme ‘Polycrisis, Polyworld,’ and addressed issues related to energy and sustainability, political instability in Africa, migration crises, and global leadership, governance and multilateralism.
He says he used his opportunity to once again bring attention to the issues faced by the CARICOM member states.
“I deliberated on the disruptions in economic activity and inflationary shocks caused by covid-19apandemic, the Russia Ukraine conflict, and in more recent times the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine, which is adding to global insecurity. As I always do, I reminded the conference of the extreme vulnerability of our Caribbean states to the impacts of climate change, which continue to impede our progress and threaten our people’s livelihoods; and I made a case for developed countries to take greater responsibility for climate financing and of course fulfilling their commitments to the Paris Accord, where climate financing is concerned,” PM Skerrit stated.
The Prime Minister then addressed the CARICOM-Saudi Arabia Summit, whose primary focus was developing investment and trade links in key sectors such as infrastructure, hospitality, energy, climate change, and environmental sustainability.
PM Skerrit says the summit provided a platform to build collaboration between CARICOM member states and Saudi Arabia in various sectors.
“We met with key individuals from both the public and private sectors, including investment groups, looking to launch new enterprises and investments in the Caribbean in areas such as Agriculture, renewable energy, tourism and infrastructural development. In our engagement with the Crowned Prince, a wide range of areas with possibility for cooperation were also agreed upon to include but not limited to tourism, food security, maritime cooperation, health, education to include scholarships for Caribbean youths, and of course infrastructural development,” he explained.
He says the issue of climate change and climate financing remains at the forefront of his agenda heading to Cop 28, where he will champion the need for access to critical resources required for building resilience to climate change.
“I again stress the need for us to address the issue of climate change as a collective, particularly the very important matter of climate financing. This issue of climate financing will be at the forefront of my agenda when I participate in the upcoming Conference of the Parties (Cop) 28 in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I will lead a delegation to the highly anticipated climate summit focused on improving access of small states to critical financial resources needed to build resilience against the changes in climate,” he noted.
The Prime Minister noted that this Conference of Parties should be one where developed countries come through on commitments they have made to small island developing states.
“We need this COP to be one of action that delivers on the promises of developed countries to provide the much needed financing to tackle the worsening climate situation. I believe that if we leave Dubai with no clear deliverables, it will be a very unfortunate period for us in the developing world. Everybody knows of my misgivings about the utility of such conferences; after all we have walked the walk, we have talked the talk but after thirty years or so we have seen no practical action on the part of the developed world to help in addressing an existential threat to us in the Caribbean and small island states,” the Prime Minister went on to state.
Prime Minister Skerrit added that he will continue to advocate for more equitable distribution of climate financing for all CARICOM countries.
“The lives of our people are at risk and so I will stay true to the pledge I have made to the Dominican people, and of course the wider Caribbean region, to keep fighting for more equitable distribution of climate financing, which is so critically and urgently needed to ensure that all of us have a better future,” PM Skerrit added.