Barbados Prime Minister highlighted the vulnerability of Small-Island Developing States (SIDS) to the effects of global climate change.
On Monday, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley delivered a powerful speech at the opening ceremony of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Scotland, UK.
Addressing over 100 world leaders, she accused the richest nations of not doing enough to stop climate change. One example is the failure to deliver the promised annual US$100 billion to help developing nations prepare and adapt to climate change.
Mottley highlighted the vulnerability of Small-Island Developing States (SIDS) to the effects of climate change. Rising sea levels, hurricanes, floods, and other extreme weather events will generate proportionally greater impacts in SIDS than developed countries's cities such as Miami and Shanghai.
"Loss and damages of droughts, heatwaves, floods, and forest fires, augmented by global warming, are measured in lives, and not doing everything in our power to prevent it is immoral and wrong”, she stressed.
Countries are working towards the goal of limiting the global temperature increase to 1,5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Many voices are advocating for the drastic reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, the transition to renewable energy, and the halt of deforestation.
“For those that have eyes to see, ears to listen, and hearts to feel, 1,5ºC is the goal to survive,” Mottley said, and recalled that if countries that pollute the most do not take extreme actions, global temperatures will increase by a catastrophic 2,7ºC.
"If our existence is to mean anything, we must act in the interest of all the people that depend on us," the Barbados Prime Minister said and added, "if we don't, we will allow the path of greed and selfishness to sow the seeds of our common destruction."