‘THEY WILL PAY’: PM Davis pledges to hold large nations accountable for climate change ahead of COP26

‘THEY WILL PAY’: PM Davis pledges to hold large nations accountable for climate change ahead of COP26
Flood waters in Freeport, Grand Bahama, as a result of Hurricane Dorian in September 2019. (LYNDAH WELLS PHOTOGRAPHY)

“We are not going to leave here without having a clear understanding of what we will get for what they would have done to us”

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis said yesterday that the government will hold larger countries accountable for the impact of climate change on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and determine “what we will get” before the end of the COP26 summit.

Davis made the comment following his arrival in Glasgow, Scotland, on Sunday at the global United Nations (UN) conference about climate change and how countries are planning to tackle it.

Yesterday was us and tomorrow it could be them,” Davis said.

“I want them to see what yesterday was for us and what tomorrow could be like for them and to motivate them to do more for Small Island Developing States like us because the cost to adapt and to mitigate in respect to the consequence of climate change is humongous and beyond our means in many, many respects.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis (second left), Deputy Prime Minister Chester Cooper (second right) and a delegation depart Lynden Pindling International Airport (LPIA) for the COP26 climate convention to be held in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We want to be able to sensitize them to that and we need our voices heard to ensure that they pay for what has happened to small island states likes us.”

Davis asserted: “We are not going to leave here without having a clear understanding of what we will get for what they would have done to us.”

While climate change has been a hot-button topic for several years, the intensity of natural disasters such as hurricanes has created an existential crisis for small island developing countries that are more vulnerable.

The Bahamas has already begun to experience the environmental and economic impacts of climate change, with major hurricanes being experienced in 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2019.

Hurricane Dorian, which has been declared the strongest storm to ever hit the country, ravaged Abaco and parts of Grand Bahama in September 2019 as a Category 5 storm.

The storm was estimated to cause some $3.4 billion in damage.

With climate change leading to warmer oceans, scientists have predicted that there could be more intense storms, with rising sea levels leading to stronger storm surges and more dangerous floods.

There is also a concern that, if unchecked, the effects could lead to global climate change migration.

The COP26 summit is being attended by countries that signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1994.

Prime Minister Philip Brave Davis delivers an address at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in September 2021.

Davis noted yesterday that he will also be meeting with some of the leaders of those countries to advance The Bahamas’ cause.

“I’m pleased that since our intervention at UN, the world is awakened to our cause and, yes, many of the industrialized countries have reached out to me to sit with me while I’m here,” he said.

“We are hoping to fit everyone in as best we can but at the end of the day, it is these bilateral engagements that will advance our cause.”

Last month, during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly as prime minister, Davis underscored the dangers of climate change for countries like The Bahamas and reminded world leaders to prioritize the issue.

The summit provides countries like The Bahamas the opportunity to help secure global net zero commitments; encourage regional and global partnerships on protecting and restoring ecosystems; mobilize international financial institutions to help fund climate action; and promote collaboration between governments, businesses and civil society.

About Sloan Smith

Sloan Smith is a senior digital reporter at Eyewitness News, covering a diverse range of beats, from politics and crime to environment and human interest. In 2018, Sloan received a nomination for the “Leslie Higgs Feature Writer of The Year Award” from The Bahamas Press Club for her work with Eyewitness News.


Keep trying indeed! These large countries will do as they wish and I doubt any PM from The Bahamas can alone get it done! By all means represent our cause!

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