GROS ISLET, ST. LUCIA – Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert Minnis stressed the need for The Bahamas to build climate resilience in the face of rising sea levels and increased hurricane activity, during bilateral talks with Norway on Thursday, July 4, 2019.
Prime Minister Minnis met with Her Excellency Erna Solberg, Prime Minister of Norway, in the margins of the 40th Regular Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
Prime Minister Minnis took the opportunity to emphasize the need for a global approach to combatting the harmful effects of climate change with Norway, a country that has proven to be a frontrunner in the fight against climate change.
The prime ministers discussed a range of issues, including climate change, a sustainable ocean economy, environmental regulations and universal preschool education.
Climate change has emerged as a critical issue for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like The Bahamas and other countries in the region which are particularly vulnerable to its impact.
Prime Minister Solberg, who is the Special Guest at this year’s CARICOM Regular Heads of Government meeting, told regional leaders during her address to the Conference’s Business Session on Thursday that climate change is the “defining issue of our time.”
Antonio Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General, addressed the Conference’s opening ceremony on Wednesday, 3 July, and noted that while climate-related natural disasters grow in frequency and severity, the risks to families and to development overall will only intensify.
“The Caribbean experience makes it abundantly clear that we must urgently reduce global emissions and work collectively to ensure that global temperature rise does not go beyond 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels,”said Secretary-General Guterres, referring to the impact of devastating hurricanes to hit the region in recent years.
Prime Minister Minnis took part in a working dinner with Secretary-General Guterres, regional Heads of Government and Prime Minister Solberg, immediately following Wednesday’s opening ceremony.
The CARICOM Heads of Government Conference concludes today (June 5th). Prime Minister Minnis returns to The Bahamas on Saturday, July 6.