Cozier Frederick pleads at COP26 for new opportunities to help SIDS combat climate change – Dominica News Online

Minister of the Environment, Rural Modernisation, and Kalinago Upliftment, Cozier Frederick has said Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are receiving less than 2% of all climate finance and is therefore calling on all developed partnering countries to provide new opportunities in decarbonization, renewable energy technologies, mitigation and adaptation efforts.

At the United Nations (UN) High Level Segment of Climate Change Conference (COP26) held this week, Frederick warned that the world is running out of time to reverse destructive and environmental practices that are having severe consequences for SIDS.

“SIDS are receiving less than 2% of all climate Finance. Almost all the biodiversity targets for the last decade were missed. Hurricanes are becoming more frequent and more intense. Dominica and other small islands are seeking new opportunities. These lie in decarbornization and renewable energy technologies in more sustainable, forms of tourism and digitization of the economy,” the minister stated.

He said Dominica has a clear plan to become climate resilient, but cannot do this alone as “the clock is ticking, and the challenge is immense.”

Frederick noted that young people now face an unprecedented threat as they will inherit what has been referred to as a “triple jeopardy of crippling debt”, a degraded environment and frequent and destructive disasters.

Frederick said SIDS have high levels of debt distress, primarily linked to responding to climate impacts and currently, there is no viable, long-term debt reduction strategy.

“The younger generation is already on board. They are seeking out opportunities to innovate. They are bold, less jaded by the past, but they are also driven by a desire to live on a healthy planet to preserve the Territorial and cultural Integrity of the island homes in their lifetimes,” he stated.

The Environment Minister also called on nations to help in achieving the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7°F) to “stay alive” as the UN has deemed that goal to be “on life support”.

To limit global warming to 1.5C, as called for in the Paris Agreement, greenhouse gas emissions must begin falling by 7.6 % each year starting in 2020.

The minister took the opportunity to tout his proud Kalinago heritage Kalinago highlighting their fight to protect Dominica from the onslaught of colonization.

“We came close to extinction but courage and resilience sustained us. We have a once in an intergenerational opportunity to take some Brave decisions and tackle the climate crisis head-on,” Frederick declared. “Dominica has made its commitment absolutely clear. Following near total destruction by Hurricane Maria in 2017, our prime minister expressed the aspirations of his people to become the world’s first climate resilient country.”

He added that though Dominica has limited resources, it is using everything available to become the world’s first climate resilient country but he warned that “we are running out of time” to reverse destructive  and environmental practices that are already having severe consequences for SIDS that matter most for young people growing up in small islands and for future generations.”

Frederick added, “Dominicans are proud stewards of our pristine natural environment. We have protected mother earth and believe as our Invincible Kalinago ancestors did that everything in nature is connected and our Fate as humans is tied to the trees, the water and the air that we breathe.”

Source: Einnews

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