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Mottley calls for climate change action at COP26

Mottley calls for climate change action at COP26
Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley challenged world leaders to leave Scotland with solutions to the pressing issues causing people angst and worry. (GP)

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National solutions to global problems just won’t get it done.

That’s what Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley advised the most powerful people on the planet yesterday, as world leaders gathered in Glasgow, Scotland on the first day of the COP26 Climate Summit.

The event is being billed as the most important climate meeting since the Paris Agreement was signed when countries endorsed reducing the world’s ocean temperatures to under two degrees Celsius.

And the Prime Minister didn’t pull any punches.

In a brief speech this morning, Mottley noted everyone had come to Scotland with the same ambition, that is to save their people, and by doing so, also save the planet from global warming.

“The pandemic has taught us that national solutions to global problems do not work,” she said to start her four-minute speech.

She said many of the commitments made by countries were based on technologies yet to be developed, which was at best, reckless, and at worst, dangerous.

“On finance, we are $20 billion short of the $100 billion, and this commitment, even then, might only be met in 2023,” she warned.

The Prime Minister reminded the leaders that adaptation finance remained only at 25 per cent, far from the 50-50 split that was needed, and promised, due to the intense warming already taking place on earth.

Mottley bemoaned the fact that climate change funding to small island developing states like those who are members of CARICOM, declined by 25 per cent two years ago, and that failure to provide the critical finance, exacerbated by the losses and damage, could be measured in lives and livelihoods of Caribbean people.

“This is immoral, and it is unjust,” she said matter-of-factly. “We’ve come here today, to say, try harder.

“If Glasgow is to deliver on the promises of Paris, it must close these gaps,” Mottley suggested.

“What must we say to our people, living on the front line in the Caribbean, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Pacific?” the island’s first female Prime Minister asked.

She noted that despite ambition, regrettably, many of the faces needed in Glasgow were not present.

“What excuse should we give for the failure?”

Mottley asked when world leaders would address “the pressing issues” that are truly causing people angst and worry about issues such as climate change and access to vaccines.

“When will leaders lead? Our people are watching, and our people are taking note. Are we really going to leave Scotland without the resolve and the ambition that is sorely needed to save lives and to save our planet?” she asked. (BA)