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By Aabigayle McIntosh
Chief Environment Officer Diann Black Layne points out that several signs of progress have been made in the area of renewable energy, however, there remain a few challenges for Small Island Developing States.
She was responding to a deal that was signed at Cop28 in Dubai to transition away from Fossil fuel. She said there is a huge loophole as developing countries continue to market natural gas which they have to use in the long term.
“These long-term arrangements far exceed 30 years and so it means they are not transitioning fuel which is not transition fuel which they are being sold as, but they intend to lock developing countries into a particular energy system. Now while that is occurring developing countries are changing to renewable which will make their energy systems cheaper.
She also outlines the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold is in peril and has dire consequences for Small Island Developing States like Antigua and Barbuda.
“If we continue to burn fossil fuel like we are doing now regardless of the type of fossil fuel we are going to exceed 1.5 degrees and that has real implications for us in Antigua and Barbuda, that means we have new beaches and we will have saltwater intrusion which will affect farmers, our ability to grow our food.
“We will have more frequent and intense hurricanes which means it will be difficult to get insurance for our homes,” Black Layne said.