by Linda Straker
- Collective partnership needed to adapt and mitigate challenges of climate change
- Building resilience and a new format through the Paris Agreement are significant undertakings
Prime Minister Dr Keith Mitchell believes that building resilience and a new format through the Paris Agreement are 2 significant undertakings that Commonwealth members need to do as part of collective efforts to mitigate the impact of climate change.
“Firstly, we need to ensure that we build the resilience of our countries to withstand the impact of Climate Change. Secondly, we need to ensure that the negotiations under the Paris Agreement are successfully completed this year so that the Paris Agreement can become fully operational as scheduled,” Dr Mitchell said, addressing a roundtable discussion during the Heads of Commonwealth one-week meeting which concludes on Friday.
“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, reminding the participants that 2017 hurricane season devastated a number of Caribbean countries and the 2018 season is only 2 months away.
Dr Mitchell’s speech focused on climate resilience. “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.”
Urging for collective partnership to adapt and mitigate challenges of climate change because the impacts are becoming more and more evident day by day and with significant consequences, Dr Mitchell told the roundtable that Small Islands Developing States do not always have the resources to do what’s necessary to protect its people and national assets.
“We therefore continue to solicit and welcome additional assistance from the Commonwealth family to enable us to access the required resources. We cannot over emphasise 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 said.