By Sherrica Thompson
#Bermuda, April 26, 2022 – Deputy Premier and Minister of Home Affairs of Bermuda, Walter Roban, is urging island states, especially British Oversea Territories, to devote the same enthusiasm they have crafting development proposals and opportunities for international investors to environmental investment and protection internally and internationally.
In giving his remarks at the Turks and Caicos Islands’ first Climate Change Conference, on April 22, in celebration of Earth Day, the Deputy Premier highlighted the effects and impacts of climate change on small islands such as Bermuda and the TCI, noting that small island states and other developing nations are at the forefront of the impacts of climate change, and this is something that cannot be underestimated. As a result, he said we (island states) must have robust regulatory frameworks, particularly for environmental protection.
“Bermuda has done a lot of work on that and is happy to share that further with the TCI and other islands. We’ve had environmental protection since the 1600s, so we have a history of it, and we have been, even in the last couple of decades, doing a lot to enhance legislative protections and also enforcement,” said Minister Roban.
Roban also encouraged that it is important for island states to ensure that they have robust regulatory frameworks around the energy sector as well and island states should seek outside investments in this sector.
“We must also look to encourage outside investments in the green technologies, solar, wind, ocean technologies and have a coordinated strategic approach to climate change around these technologies and to effectively device and implement dynamic overarching plans that will mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change,” said Roban.
As a result of the work that Bermuda has done over the years where climate change is concerned, the country was able to secure funding from the United Kingdom government to conduct an exhaustive climate study that will undertake a vulnerability assessment of Bermuda’s major infrastructure, such as its airport, ports, public highways, electricity generation, subterranean, utility and communications framework, waste and energy plant and swage management systems.
The study, Roban explained, will be about the impact of climate change on the island of Bermuda. He further explained that the study is expected to make predictions with the projection timeline for best and worse climate case scenarios for the short, medium, and long term. When completed, it will allow Bermuda to project how the areas conducted in the study will impact the country for 50 to 100 years.
Minister Roban emphasised that these are the sort of projections that island states need to have and understand to be able to contemplate their decision making and encouraged small island states in the region to conduct studies like these, even if it requires them to work together to do so.
“Small island states in the region, if you are unable to pursue these studies individually, you can jointly support such studies together. These are one of the ways that we can work together instead of taking on the full investment of those exhaustive studies on our own, and we can create a pool of resources that will allow us to benefit from the results of those studies,” explained the Deputy Premier.
He said island states should share these studies so others can benefit.
“We must share the outcomes of these studies with each other because whatever Bermuda learns about what’s happening in Bermuda can benefit the Turks and Caicos Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and others,” said Roban.
Roban also encouraged island states to take advantage of other opportunities that exist that afford a study of their territories.
“I also encourage you to benefit from academia; academia is often keen to come into our territory and work with us to complete these studies and sometimes they’ll do it themselves without any financial commitment because it is a part of building their own resource base,” said the Deputy Premier.
He added that: “academia, international organizations, and research institutions are out there who want to work with us to study and do these studies, pursue, investigate, and invite them in on terms that are mutually beneficial to you.”
The Home Affairs Minister also noted that it is important for island states to become strong voices in the campaign for climate action and “become our own advocate in the fight for climate change. We as overseas territories must work together.
Bwa Kalé movement striking back against gangs, nearly 3,000 murdered
#Haiti, September 29, 2023 – In eight months, nearly 3,000 Haitian people have been slaughtered in their home country due to the upsurge and uprising of gangs in the republic which is struggling to hold its democracy in check.
‘Bwa Kalé’, it’s a vigilante movement that has sprung up in Haiti, and the UN says it is driving up murders.
A recent report following an expert visit detailed it.
“Certain groups have formed allegedly to protect their neighbourhoods from gangs. In some instances, these groups have summarily executed people suspected of being gang members. The Bwa Kalé movement demonstrates the population’s lack of trust in the State, especially in the police and the courts. The expert has learned that some members of the police and the judiciary have been complicit with gangs.”
Despite the obvious fear among residents, the UN is warning them not to take justice into their own hands. However, that is easier said than done as Haitians have demonstrated their feelings of abandonment by fleeing the island in mass numbers on illegal voyages and standing up to the gangs themselves.
In the same report, one said: “The State is absent, there are no police or other officials operating there.”
According to AP, a new report to the U.N. Security Council indicated that 2,728 intentional killings were recorded between October 2022 and June 2023, including 247 women, 58 boys, and 20 girls. Bwa Kalé is blamed partially for the increase, as life in the country is described as unbearable.
Jamaica declares DENGUE OUTBREAK; control measures amped up
#Jamaica, September 29, 2023 – As Jamaica battles a dengue outbreak, the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development is taking steps to fortify the country’s resilience to the mosquito borne disease.
The Department announced it will be providing funds for the emergency response to contain the dengue outbreak, according to Desmond McKenzie, Minister of Local Government, as reported by JIS.
McKenzie was in talks with Journalists at the Spanish Court Hotel in Kingston this past Wednesday, September 27th when he revealed that the resources will come from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
In fact, work, he expressed, is already being done as he informed that discussions have started with Jamaica’s Minister of Health and Wellness to see to the roll out of clean-up programmes to ensure communities do not morph into breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
It was reported that: “International health authorities have reported elevated dengue fever activity across multiple areas in Jamaica, with more than 560 suspected cases (78 confirmed) reported Jan. 1-Sept. 22. This is compared to the 59 cases reported over a similar period in 2022. Majority of the confirmed cases were reported in Kingston, Saint Andrew, Saint Catherine, and Saint Thomas. The Jamaican Ministry of Health & Wellness has deployed vector control workers across the island to high-risk communities. This report represents the most complete data available as of Sept. 29.”
These clean up initiatives, the minister points out, will be in operation in the days to come and they will commence in areas identified by the Ministry of Health; the plan is to later extend the efforts other communities.
In continuation, Audley Gordon, Executive Director of the NSWMA, spoke of vulnerable areas which he termed the “problematic sites”, informing that they are scheduled for action, including the removal of bulky waste by his teams, adding that the “NSWMA is fully ready to play its part in what we are asked to do, starting this weekend”.
Not only will the programmes clean the respective areas, they will call community members to practice proper garbage disposal, as people often fail to acknowledge the importance of these hygienic habits.
Guyana President says Global Aim for Net Zero is Out of Reach
#USA, September 29, 2023 – Dr. Irfaan Ali, Guyanese president informed that the global aim for Net Zero by 2050 is unrealistic due to the cost of transition and the pace of the financing commitment thus far.
He was speaking at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, providing numerical data, which he shared with the other attending world leaders, as he backed up his reasoning.
Before going into intricate details, summing up the costs which led to his view of the unrealistic goal of net zero by 2050, President Ali brought forth what he described as “the critical question of a just, affordable and equitable transition.”
He starts, maintaining that Bloomberg, financial information, software and media firm Bloomberg, estimates that reaching the global net zero emissions status by 2050, roughly 26 years from now, would require annual investments that triple those of 2021, to $6.7 trillion annually.
Ali narrowed down his analysis and specifically referred to global temperature, now a major issue and worsening, saying that to limit its rise to less than two degrees Celsius, the [IEA] estimates that investments in the energy sector, on its own, would need to be increased by approximately 1 trillion dollars yearly.
In continuation, the Guyanese President referred to the issue of availability of electricity in developing countries, as close to 900 million people worldwide have no access to it, he says, adding that this is “against the backdrop of a widening financing gap in achieving the SDGs, one of which is for affordable and clean energy; another clear factor highlighting the unrealistic nature of reaching all the desired goals by 2050.
Ali further highlighted the money that would go “with adaptation alone, estimated at $160 to $340 billion by 2030 and $315 to $565 billion by 2050, he says, according to UNAP further bolster his point.
Moreover, with more than 90 countries, he says, committed to Net Zero emissions, achieving this goal would require even more changes than what are currently happening, adding that the IEA gauges that for it to be so by 2050, more than 85 percent of buildings “must be net zero carbon ready,” and over 90 percent heavy industrial production, must be low emissions and almost 70 percent electricity would need to be generated from solar [photovoltaic].
“Based on these targets, renewable share in the generation of electricity will have to increase from 29 percent in 2020, to 88 percent in 2050. Meanwhile, to remove carbon from the atmosphere, the world would need to simultaneously halt deforestation and increase tree cover, again two times faster by 2030.”
Considering this, he said by 2050, 7.6 gigatons of carbon will have to be captured and stored compared to 0.4 gigatons in 2020.
He then concluded with a powerful plethora of statistical info, doubling down on the unrealistic target the world has set.
“According to Mckenzie and Company, it would cost $375 trillion dollars, in cumulative spending on physical assets to transition to net zero by 2050.”
Firming up the point by the President of Guyana, that it is completely unrealistic that these even more monumental targets would be reached, when countries failed to achieve even lesser goals laid out since the Paris Accord, signed nearly a decade ago in 2015 by 196 nations.
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