By Deandrea Hamilton
#TheBahamas, August 20, 2022 – Time is running out and the Caribbean, the planet is facing an existential crisis which requires urgent action from the big Carbon emitters; that action involves cutting back and according to negotiators at the table, it is also means cutting cheques.
When four regional prime ministers hosted a finale press conference at the close of the Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting in Nassau, Bahamas on Wednesday August 17, the message was clear and consistent, pointing to a compelling case being built for small islands of the Caribbean to demand hassle-free access and assurances to climate financing.
“Clearly we are at the front lines of the existential issue that climate change presents for us on a daily basis and at certain times of the year,” said Dakon Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, who added, “I think the issue of climate change has gone beyond a moral issue but a justiciable issue and I think that as islands that have borne the brunt of the proven loss and damage arising from the Green House gases that we are entitled to compensation.”
The Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting in Preparation of COP27 hosted by the Commonwealth of The Bahamas was described as an idea whose time had come. The event, staged at the Baha Mar Resort was praised for amalgamating the forces of the region in a two-day caucus which will birth a document articulating the desires, even demands of a region hardest hit by a climate gone haywire.
“I don’t talk about Climate Change, I talk about the Climate Crisis because this is a crisis,” said Mia Mottley, Prime Minister of Barbados, who was among the four prime ministers in the final press conference.
Mottley, globally renowned now for her unapologetic stance on the disparities and inequitable pressures small island states are made to bear, said time is running out for action to save the planet.
“This is not a case of good COP or bad COP, because whether we have a good COP or bad COP this year or next year, it’s still a death sentence and that’s the point. And the arrogance of the developed world in believing there will not be failed societies or extinct species is what literally galls us.”
Mottley reflected on the volcano eruption which caused a near 100 percent evacuation of all people of Montserrat and she remarked, “I’ve never seen a dinosaur yet, so we know that there is something called extinct species as well. And the reality is that we are playing fast and loose with our future.”
The Caribbean country leaders expressed that it is time for the “culprits” to pay up with fair compensation and non-burdensome loans.
“What we really should be seeking to raise is at least a trillion (dollars), but here’s why: It’s not just that 30 to 40 percent of that should go to climate adaptation, which only governments can spend on, but the rest of it has to go to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
Quality, free education and accessible, quality health care were cited as among the human development needs which effectively alleviate poverty.
“The developed world accepted that they are the ones who are causing the warming of the environment through their carbon emissions and they also recognized that we in the developing world and we are speaking of the Caribbean in particular are the major victims of their actions and therefore we are entitled to compensation. They agreed that they would provide us with $100 billion a year; that was 14 years ago in Copenhagen, they promised to make $100 billion dollars available to us so that we could put systems in place to mitigate against the impact of climate change. This was supposed to have been materialized in 2020, so we recognized, okay we’re in COVID and everyone has been affected so they’ve put it to 2023,” said Roosevelt Skerrit, Prime Minister of Dominica.
Skerritt candidly shared his frustrations about the unfulfilled promises of those developed nations, explaining that currently the dilemma is in mediation and by now, in a real world situation, this matter would have evolved to a court trial with the victims resoundingly winning the case.
“The reality is that we have to get the developed world to live up to the expectations, because if mediation does not work, then you go back to the judge and say well we couldn’t find agreement and therefore we have to go into open court to deliberate on this matter and let there be a decision.
The Keeping 1.5°C Alive movement reminds that it was the Paris Agreement of 2016 when the international community crafted the ambitious pledge to cool down the planet. Limiting the global average temperature to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels is the goal, but according to the World Meteorological Organization in a May 2022 report, there is a 93 percent likelihood of the planet exceeding this goal, at least once within the coming five years.
Participating in the two day meeting were representatives from: Antigua and Barbuda; Anguilla; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; British Virgin Islands; Cayman; Cuba; Dominica; Dominican Republic; Grenada; Guyana; Haiti; Jamaica; Montserrat; St Kitts and Nevis; St Lucia; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Suriname; Trinidad and Tobago and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Meeting host, Philip Davis, Prime Minister of The Bahamas pledged, “At COP 27, our voices will be loud, our voices will be heard and I am certain we will come up with a consensus position as to what we would like to do.”
Davis in that final press event admitted to be cautiously optimistic, “My caution is how the wealthier countries, who are the culprits (if I can call them that) of where we are today are prepared to acknowledge their sins, repent and do what is right in all the circumstances.
I am pleased in what has happened here and I am hoping that one of my colleagues will pick up the challenge to host if (Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting) next year, because we need to do this every year until we get the results that we need.”
Digital coin created for Caribbean’s Dominica as island partners with Huobi
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – The Commonwealth of Dominica has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Huobi, to issue its own national cryptocurrencies, Dominica Coin (DMC), and Digital Identity Documents (DID), already reports indicate a surge for the Huobi token.
This new collaboration with Dominica will bring the Caribbean one step closer to being a global cryptocurrency exchange centre. Huobi also announced its intention to move headquarters from Seychelles to the Caribbean.
It was explained, “The deal is noteworthy partly because of its connections to crypto billionaire Justin Sun, founder of the Tron blockchain where the Caribbean island’s new token will initially reside.”
Dominica Coin (DMC) and digital identity documents (DID) will be issued by Huobi Prime via the TRON network (a project dedicated to building the infrastructure for a truly decentralized Internet); both will serve as credentials for the future metaverse platform based in Dominica. DIDs can be used for cryptocurrency Know Your Customer verification, applying for loans, and opening bank accounts on the island.
The DMC is not yet ready for launch, but The HT token is up 15% over the last 24 hours to $7.12. It’s up 40% over the past seven days.
As one of the first Caribbean islands to adopt the citizenship-by-investment policy, the Dominican government is seeking to delve into the metaverse and Web3 technology as a means to boost the country’s development.
Imminent Worldwide Measles Threat; 25 Million CHILDREN miss First Dose
By Dana Malcolm
December 2, 2022 – Forty million children are at risk of Measles as what the World Health Organization is describing as an “imminent threat” takes shape. A joint report between the WHO and the U.S. Centres for Disease Control revealed that a record number of children missed their measles dose with 25 million children missing their first dose and 14.7 million children missing their second dose in 2021 alone.
Nine million cases of measles were recorded last year, twenty-two countries experienced large and disruptive outbreaks and 128,000 deaths occurred, the report says.
“The paradox of the pandemic is that while vaccines against COVID-19 were developed in record time and deployed in the largest vaccination campaign in history, routine immunization programmes were badly disrupted, and millions of kids missed out on life-saving vaccinations against deadly diseases like measles,” said Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.
Measles is easily one of the most contagious viruses in the world and while many people think itchy spots when they think of the disease it can cause pneumonia, seizures and brain damage in about 30 percent of infected individuals.
Herd immunity will not work with this disease, say experts, unless 95 per cent of people or more are vaccinated; only 71 per cent of children in 2022 are fully vaccinated.
“Measles anywhere is a threat everywhere” the report said, emphasizing that no WHO region has achieved and sustained measles elimination.
FTX founder Sam Bankman-Fried admitted he’d screwed up
By Shanieka Smith
December 2, 2022 – An interview with FTX founder Sam Bankman- Fried on Wednesday at the DealBook Summit revealed that there were no risk management teams or form of corporate control to help govern the organisation.
The CEO said he was shocked by what had taken place. While he had made loans to his hedge fund Alameda, Bank-Fried said he did not intentionally commingle the funds.
Bankman-Fried acknowledged that he had a responsibility to the company and all its customers but he “screwed up.” “There was no person who was chiefly in charge of positional risk of customers on FTX, and that feels pretty embarrassing in retrospect,” he shared.
The investigation is ongoing and it still needs to be clarified whether customers will be able to regain any funds.
Former Securities and Exchange Commission lawyer Howard Fischer said that Bankman-Fried’s comments are being scrutinised. “Everything he says that turns out to be contradicted by admissible evidence will be taken as evidence of deceit.”
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