(Observer)Dominica’s Prime Minister has come out swinging about the unavailability of monies pledged by rich countries to assist Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Antigua and Barbuda in fighting climate change.
Wealthy nations say they are on track this year to meet their overdue $100 billion climate finance pledge to developing countries three years later than promised; however, Roosevelt Skerrit, the Chairman of Caricom, appears not to be optimistic that they will deliver.
Skerrit urged intense action on climate change when regional leaders met with Dr Sultan Al Jaber, the president-designate of the 28th Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28), on Thursday, August 10, in Barbados.
“Every time we go to a COP summit, there is always a new proposal on the table and never a reflection of fulfilling their commitment. When they made their one billion commitments, it was always the understanding of all parties that it would be in grants; now they are talking about private sector funding and loans,” Skerrit said during a press conference in Roseau, Dominica earlier this week.
He said the developed world must understand that the small islands are not looking for any sympathy.
“We do not want any pity from anybody. An injustice has been meted out to us because climate change is a result of the behaviour and practices of the industrialised world, which is affecting us,” Skerrit said, adding, “this is about compensation.”
The Dominica PM said the matter is so severe that those who pledged the monetary assistance should be taken to court, but an out-of-court settlement is preferred.
COP 28 will convene from November 30 to December 12, 2023 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The conference will focus on fast-tracking energy transition and slashing emissions before 2030, transforming climate finance, and placing people, lives, and livelihoods at the heart of climate action.
“If we leave Dubai this year with nobody delivering a cheque, it would be an unfortunate thing,” he said
Skerrit also argued that the Caribbean is one of the world’s most vulnerable regions, and climate change is an existential threat.