Temperature Rise Should Stay Below 1.5 Degrees to Preserve Islands Like The Bahamas – PM Says

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Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, centre, with Cabinet Ministers at the UN Convention on Climate Change, Paris, France, November 30, 2015. Seated next to the Prime Minister is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell; in second row, from left: Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe; Minister of the Environment and Housing Kenred Dorsett; and Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)
Prime Minister the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie, centre, with Cabinet Ministers at the UN Convention on Climate Change, Paris, France, November 30, 2015. Seated next to the Prime Minister is Minister of Foreign Affairs and Immigration Fred Mitchell; in second row, from left: Minister of Tourism Obie Wilchcombe; Minister of the Environment and Housing Kenred Dorsett; and Minister for Grand Bahama Dr. Michael Darville. (BIS Photo/Peter Ramsay)

PARIS, France – At the 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, Paris, France, November 30 to December 1, 2015 – Prime Minister of The Bahamas the Rt. Hon. Perry Christie on Monday expressed in his communication to the forum that “we will fight for countries like The Bahamas to stay on the map into the next century.”

In his statement at the pivotal and historic conclave, the Prime Minister said: “We must adopt, at the end of next week, an international legally binding agreement under the Convention that is in the form of a protocol and is applicable to all Parties.

“We must also agree a long term goal of keeping the average global temperature rise below 1.5 degrees. The 2.0 degrees goal, which many espouse, will lead to the loss of entire countries, Mr. President. And a 1.5 degree goal is not only desirable, it is achievable and feasible. Let us then send a clear message to the world that we will fight for countries like The Bahamas to stay on the map into the next century.

“This existential threat to the survival of a number of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) must be explicitly recognised in the Paris Agreement. It should, at its core, acknowledge and make provisions for the special circumstances of SIDS, allowing for the flexibility needed to overcome limited human, financial and technical capacities.

“The Bahamas sees the following as indispensable coming out of Paris. Loss and Damage must be anchored in the Paris Agreement. It is not possible to discuss even 2 degrees, when there is no acceptable process in place to address the inevitable loss and damage that would result from adopting such a goal and the recent experience of The Bahamas with Hurricane Joaquin shows that existing insurance structures are inadequate and often rely on legalisms which deny legitimate claims.”

Prime Minister Christie said: “Secondly, we must recognise the 100 billion per year pledge by developed countries, needs to be honoured and built upon in the post-2020 period.

“The Bahamas should be able to access these funds. We deplore the continued use of Gross Domestic Product/Gross National Income per capita as the main component in determining the access that The Bahamas and other SIDS have to financial resources for our adaptation needs. Storms like Joaquin and others have shown that it only takes one event to decimate entire island economies and communities.”