In a matter of hours, Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis will make his first address to the General Assembly (GA) of the United Nations (UN), now in its 73rd sitting, and is expected to tackle the issue of climate change.
Now well into the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season, the issue of climate change was seen by some critics as the best position for the country to address at this time.
In an exclusive interview with Eyewitness News ahead of his highly-anticipated UN speech, Dr. Minnis said, his presentation will focus largely on the realities of hurricanes and their devastating impact on small island nations, including The Bahamas.
“We will talk about climate change as that affects us … you know the hurricanes. We will also point out that climate change, inclusive of the hurricanes, is one component – has declared war on small island nations like The Bahamas,” Dr Minnis said.
“We are innocent victims. We contribute very little to carbon emissions, very little to the changes. But we feel the greatest impact.”
The Bahamas has kept a steady stance on fighting the issue of climate change as former prime minister Perry Christie was among the more than 170 leaders to sign the UN Climate Change Accord in New York in April 2016.
And during his last term in office (2007-2012), former prime minister Hubert Ingraham made the case for the need to fight climate change at another UN meeting on the issue in Copenhagen.
“Climate change is a serious threat to our economic viability, our social development and our territorial integrity,” Ingraham said in his presentation.
“During the last two decades, our region has witnessed an alarming increase in the number and ferocity of hurricanes and The Bahamas has felt the full brunt of some of them. This has placed a heavy burden on our limited resources as repeated restoration and recovery efforts have demanded the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade alone.
“These resources had to be diverted from critically important national development priorities, hence compromising our efforts towards sustainable development. If not enough is done now to arrest this trend, the situation will only worsen. Indeed, on present trend, it is said that some particularly low-lying island states are very likely to become entirely uninhabitable.”