#TheBahamas, February 23, 2022 – During his address to the One Young World Bahamas Caucus on February 17, 2022, Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Hon. Philip Davis noted that when he addressed the “One Young World Ambassadors” in October 2021, just before COP26 in Glasgow, he focused on the environmental and economic damage inflicted by the adverse effects of climate change. – on the world as a whole, and on the Bahamas in particular.
“I implored you to join me in spreading the word about the urgent need for global climate action,” he said at the event at the University’s Culinary Arts and Tourism Studies Building. of the Bahamas, under the theme “Climate Action: The Roadmap for Climate Recovery in the Caribbean”.
“After COP26, one thing is clear in my mind: the word has gotten out; everyone knows.
Leaders know this,” he added.
Among those present at the event were One Young World co-founder David Jones and UB vice president of academic affairs Dr. Maria Woodside-Oriakhi.
Prime Minister Davis recounted that one by one, leaders from various countries stood on the stage at COP26 and recited a litany of damage and risk associated with the negative impact of climate change.
“In my own contribution, I have emphasized the particular vulnerabilities of low-lying small island developing states like ours,” he said. “And I made sure it wasn’t just what I believe younger generations would call a ‘pity party’.”
Prime Minister Davis said he was urging his colleagues to “act and act now, to help us help us with the financial support and technology transfers that would enable us to rebuild our country to be resilient in the face of the onslaught of climate change”.
He said, “Leaders know. The world knows. It is the action that must now follow that leaves much to be desired.
Prime Minister Davis said he heard the frustration of many young people at the lack of action.
“I hear your fears and anxieties about your future and the kind of world you will inherit,” he said. “I understand that in the midst of this existential threat and the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, greater sacrifices are required of you.”
Prime Minister Davis urged them not to despair.
“Even though the world seems to remain stubbornly hooked on a way of life that produces carbon emissions, there are signs that the most polluting countries and the most polluting industries are hearing the message,” he said.
He noted that the actions taken so far were not enough – and certainly not fast enough; and not all should be fooled by attempts to “green-wash” and confuse the debate.
“But we must not give up, and our whole life depends on it,” he added.
Prime Minister Davis pointed to two particular aspects of the “One World Caucus” being held that day that gave him great reason for optimism and hope.
The first characteristic he noted was their commitment to internationalism.
“While there are worrying signs that some nations are tempted by isolationism and nationalism, your organization’s continued commitment to international partnership and international action is a real source of optimism,” said Prime Minister Davis.
“It may seem normal to you that you meet in this way,” he added. “But, know that even now, as old geopolitical conflicts erupt and new ones emerge, there will only be justice and peace in this world if we find meaningful ways to come together and work together. “
Prime Minister Davis said the second cause for optimism was their potential for serious and consistent activism.
“But even as you tackle the big issues of our time, remember that no militant cause worth fighting for was won overnight,” he noted. “Just because current reality seems so stacked against it doesn’t mean success, by any definition, isn’t possible.”
Prime Minister Davis then spoke briefly about historic international activism regarding women’s rights, racial equality and social rights.
“The ongoing battles of various ethnic minorities for their safety, other groups of people for economic justice, for gender equality, for the ability to live your own truth and be who you are – whoever you be – are not yet fully won,” he noted. “But the efforts of the activists behind them continue to yield positive, albeit minimal, results.”
“I offer you these examples as inspiration,” he added. ” Do not abandon. Keep on going. And by not giving up, keep pushing the battle forward.
Prime Minister Davis told attendees that, thanks to their continued campaigning efforts, many of those who once denied the reality of the negative impacts of climate change have fallen silent.
“This is in part due to evidence of double-decker waves of devastating Category 5 hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes, wildfire furnaces that have spread across many continents, and floods and landslides that threaten so many communities,” he said. “But it’s also because young people like you have made it clear that they want more than irresponsible debate.
” Do not abandon. Keep on going.
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that in the Bahamas they are making their own efforts.
“Yesterday I was proud to speak today in Parliament about this dialogue,” he said. “It was in the context of my report on the achievements of COP26 by the Bahamas and the measures taken since by my government.
“In my communication, I dedicated an entire section to ‘youth empowerment and capacity building’.”
Premier Davis briefly outlined some of the major announcements he made in the House of Assembly.
“I have informed my fellow parliamentarians that this commitment today is the first of several initiatives by my administration, to connect, collaborate and strategize with young people on issues related to climate change,” he said. recount.
“I have also formally announced that my government has agreed to host a ‘Youth Climate Conference’ at the University of the Bahamas later this year, July 6-8.”
He added that he was happy to report that they were delighted to hear that young people from around the world will be invited to engage with Bahamians aged 15 to 30, to debate and discuss issues related to the mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage associated with climate change. , and climate justice.
“I hope many of you already know that we are an archipelago of some 700 islands.
Of these, there are 16 main islands that are inhabited, which we call the family islands,” Prime Minister Davis said. “To demonstrate the extent of our commitment to the Conference, we have pledged to ensure that at least two students from each of our family islands can participate in the ‘Youth Climate Conference’.
“Yesterday I also informed Parliament that we have appointed two ‘Youth Climate Ambassadors’ to help us engage and empower young people on the global stage. This has also been extremely well received.
Prime Minister Davis noted that as they prepared for the Bahamas to be well represented at COP27 in Egypt, he announced that his government is committed to ensuring that at least eight youth representatives be part of the Bahamas delegation.
“We hope to stimulate the interest of young Bahamians as much as possible and hope that all young people interested in climate change will come forward to be considered in this competitive selection process,” he said.
“These measures are just a start,” he added. “We are already looking closely at much larger and much more tangible steps that will allow The Bahamas to play a greater role in helping to secure all of our tomorrows.”
“I concluded my parliamentary brief by reminding my fellow legislators that at no time in our history have the Bahamian people been so actively involved and aware of what is happening on the international stage with respect to climate change.
And at no time has the presence of our people been so necessary.
We are one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change.
To do nothing, to say nothing, not to show up, not to raise your hand and your voice and be counted: for my government, this is simply not an option”.
The Prime Minister noted that this was also his caucus charge.
He said, “Keep doing everything you can. Keep introducing yourself. Keep talking. Keep raising your hands and your voices. Continue to be counted.
“This is nothing less than the battle of our lives, a battle we must win.”
By: Eric Rose
Bahamas Information Services
Photo caption: Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, the Hon. Philip Davis speaks during his keynote address at the One Young World Bahamas Caucus, February 17, 2022, held at the Culinary Arts and Tourism Studies Building, University of the Bahamas, under the theme ‘Climate Action: The Roadmap to Climate Recovery in the Caribbean.” (BIS Photos/Eric Rose)