You can now listen to Antigua News articles!
During the COP28 plenary in Dubai, Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne made a passionate plea for world unity in combating the climate crisis.
He reiterated his country’s position on various remedies being considered to mitigate the worsening impact of climate change.
Prime Minister Browne noted that progress in this area is lagging behind what is urgently required to drive positive action on the climate front, particularly for island nations.
He warned that climate change is fast outpacing incremental progress since Paris, with potential catastrophic consequences if we overshoot the 1.5-degree threshold. Despite contributing the least to global CO2 emissions, small island states are the greatest victims.
Prime Minister Browne has long called for the industrialized world to scale up their ambitions to help vulnerable countries build resilience to recover from climate impacts.
He made a bold statement that the future weapons of mass destruction will not be bombs or guns but scorching temperatures, persistent droughts, rising tides, and ferocious winds.
The Prime Minister criticized the protection of the fossil fuel industry that continues to be a priority in the pursuit of extortionate profits, at the expense of all of humanity, especially people in climate-vulnerable countries.
He questioned the fairness and justice of powerful countries profiting from
the irresponsible and profligate use of fossil fuels that could obliterate vulnerable countries.
Prime Minister Browne called for the adoption of the Multidimensional Vulnerability Index to increase access by island nations to the financing they need in times of disaster.
He reiterated his call for the introduction of a carbon tax and welcomed the proposal by France and Kenya to establish a global tax on greenhouse gas emissions to scale up climate funding.
He supported the call for a Fossil Fuel non-proliferation treaty to curb the use of fossil fuels and accelerate the transition to renewables.
The Global Stocktake is a crucial endeavor at this year’s COP as it measures countries’ efforts to reduce the impact of climate change and keep within the 1.5 warming limit.
Prime Minister Browne emphasized that an overshoot of the 1.5-degree warming threshold would spell untold disaster for small vulnerable island nations like Antigua and Barbuda.
The GST should reaffirm the commitments to the 1.5-degree pathway for a just, equitable, and accelerated transition, the Capitalization and Operationalization of the Loss & Damage fund, and the Provision of adequate transformational finance for a 1.5-degree agenda and interim adaptation and mitigation funding.