By Dana Malcolm
October 28, 2022 – As COP 27 approaches the United Nations says with this low level of dedication we will miss climate goals by far in a new report. While humanity needs to stop global temperature rise at 1.5°C for survival, the report indicates the combined climate pledges of the Paris Agreement could put the world on track for about 2.5°C of warming instead. Its a disappointing but not surprising turn of events for developing nations, especially small island states.
During COP 26 the United Nations Climate Change Conference last year, every UN nation pledged to increase their dedication to stop climate change in its tracks but those promises remain unfulfilled.
Simon Stiell, Executive Secretary of UN Climate Change, revealed that despite the promised dedication at Cop 26 last year and (and the Caribbean’s desperate pleas to larger contributors to climate change) only 24 of the UN’s countries have submitted new or updated climate plans, Cop 27 is less than a month away.
Many large nations including the United States and the United Kingdom continue to miss their climate change goals, Earlier this year the UK Climate Change Committee slammed the government’s plan for net zero emissions saying there was ‘scant evidence of delivery against headline goals so far.’
The Rhodium Group, a US research agency, said, “Without new policy, the US will fall significantly short of its 2030 climate target”
While carbon emissions are not projected to increase after 2030 based on commitments made by countries, the report says they are still not demonstrating the rapid decrease scientists say is necessary to essentially save the world. In fact Stiell, says: “The science is clear and so are our climate goals under the Paris Agreement. We are still nowhere near the scale and pace of emission reductions required to put us on track toward a 1.5 degrees Celsius world. To keep this goal alive, national governments need to strengthen their climate action plans now and implement them in the next eight years.”
If the world collectively fails its developing countries that will suffer the brunt of climate changes ill effects. Thousands of lives have been lost in Pakistan and Nigeria due to extreme flooding, several nations in sub-Saharan Africa are suffering through one of the worst droughts.
The UN is also warning that the effects of climate change make economic conditions in developing countries worse.
“Climate shocks are heightening the risk of economic instability in indebted developing countries, seemingly under-appreciated by the G20 major economies and other international financial bodies.”
This is the backdrop against which the UN will meet November 6-18, 2022 at COP 27, set in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.
Mobile App brings unprecedented access & opportunity to Persons with Disabilities in The Bahamas
#TheBahamas, December 8, 2022 – Opportunities and services previously out of reach for many Persons with Disabilities (PWD’s) in The Bahamas are now easier to access with groundbreaking upgrades to the ‘AccessAbility’ mobile app innovated by the National Commission of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD), through a Bahamian APP developer.
As of January 2023, PWD’s registered on the App will be able to book accessible transportation, allowing unprecedented freedom of movement.
For now, services available on the App include free interpreter services for the deaf and hard of hearing; disaster alerts from NEMA; free registration with NCPD which includes mapped location of registered PWD’s in times of disaster; complaints mechanism; bus routes showing street by street movement ; request for adaptive equipment and other services; business directory for organizations compliant with the Disabilities Act; Career/job listings; as well as trending local and international news and resources.
Financing for the App and the related public education programme was contributed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through its Multi Country Office located in Jamaica which serves The Bahamas among five English-speaking countries in the northern Caribbean. The App is available for free download from Google Play and the App Store and is also preloaded on all new devices purchased from local telecommunications provider Aliv in partnership with NCPD.
At the launch event on Sunday (4 December), Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Philip Davis said that The Bahamas aimed to achieve inclusion and accessibility on a level playing field for persons with disabilities and that the App was one of the means through which this could be achieved. He lauded the services provided through the app and highlighted the accessible transportation, one touch access to emergency services and sign language interpretation.
The Prime Minister announced that the Department of Labour will enable job listings in the AccessAbility app, and further reminded employers of provisions in the Disability Act for the employment of one person with a disability for every 100 employees. “I am asking corporate Bahamas to join the Government in recognizing the potential in persons with disabilities and providing employment opportunities that may never have been considered before,” he said.
Other major disclosures made by the Prime Minister included The Bahamas’ ratification of ILO Convention 159 establishing the right of PWD to vocational rehabilitation and employment opportunities, and the successful implementation of the Nassau Airports Development’s Sunflower Laynard programme offering empathetic and specialized service to travelling PWD’s
Minister of Social Services and Urban Development, the Hon. Obediah Wilchcombe, said exclusion of PWD’s over the years has been troubling, but the mobile app will help bring the community closer to realizing inclusion and becoming part of the normalcy of the country. “We are elated and moved. PWD’s are celebrating because we have come a long way and UNDP is helping to make a difference” Minister Wilchcombe stated.
UNDP Resident Representative Denise E Antonio said recognizing that Disability Inclusion is a development issue requires continued attention and investment, UNDP supported the Government’s mission to expand digital inclusion to marginalized groups through the Digital Access for All (DAFA) Bahamas Project, specifically focusing on the AccessAbility Mobile App and public education.
She reiterated UNDP’s commitment to improving ICT infrastructure and digital access with and for PWD’s in The Bahamas; advancing gender equality and the empowerment of PWD’s in The Bahamas and forging partnerships to identify challenges and potential solutions to reduce inequalities against Persons with Disabilities. “It is crucial for governments, public and private sectors, to collaboratively find innovative solutions with and for persons with disabilities, to make the world a more accessible and equitable place,” the Resident Representative noted.
She encouraged Persons with Disabilities to register with the NCPD through the App to ensure they benefit from a wide array of services.
The launch of the AccessAbility mobile app will be immediately followed by a multimedia public education campaign to encourage awareness, downloads, and usage among PWDs.
Technology and digitalization are considered enablers in UNDP’s global service offer of six signature solutions focusing on leaving no one behind. To this end, UNDP partners with countries to develop appropriate digital solutions which help advance poverty eradication, inclusion, equality and crisis resilience. UNDP Multi Country Office in Jamaica serves Jamaica, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, The Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands.
Tropical Storm Owen in December?
By Shanieka Smith
December 8, 2022 – A low-pressure system observed in the Central Atlantic Ocean has led the National Hurricane Center to believe there is a 50 per cent chance a subtropical or tropical storm will develop. They reported on Tuesday, the system was 800 miles northeast of the Leeward Islands.
NHC said that by Thursday or Friday, the system should move northeastward, where it will interact with a mid-latitude trough, thereby limiting the chances of development.
The potential subtropical or tropical storm would become the 15th named storm of 2022 and will be called Owen.
Here is the very latest forecast:
Central Subtropical Atlantic
Showers and thunderstorms have increased since last evening near a
subtropical Atlantic about 850 miles east-southeast of Bermuda.
However, the system remains embedded within a frontal zone, which is
expected to become more pronounced later today as the low begins to
move east-northeastward at 20 to 25 mph toward colder waters and
interact with a mid-latitude trough. Therefore, while the system
could show some subtropical characteristics today, its chances to
fully transition to a subtropical or tropical cyclone appear to be
decreasing. Nevertheless, significant non-tropical development of
this low is expected during the next couple of days, and additional
information, including hurricane-force wind warnings, can be found
in High Seas Forecasts issued by the National Weather Service. The
next Special Tropical Weather Outlook on this system will be issued
by 9 AM EST Thursday.
* Formation chance through 48 hours…low…30 percent.
* Formation chance through 5 days…low…30 percent.
Photo Credit: ACCUWEATHER
“WE ARE A COUNTRY OF LAWS”: Bahamas PM says gov’t will enforce PRICE CONTROL
By Shanieka Smith
#TheBahamas, December 8, 2022 – Bahamas’ Price Control Regulations were amended two months ago and several grocers have not complied. Now, Prime Minister Phillip Davis said the government will take measures to ensure grocers change their prices and obey the law.
He said the change was in response to the high cost of living in The Bahamas. He promised the residents in attendance that the government will do all it can to ensure the people’s survival amidst the inflation. Many grocers complained that the price control would cut into their profits.
President of the Retail Grocers Association, Phillip Beneby announced that a proposal was sent to the government regarding the Price Control Basket, however, they have not received a response.
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