Recent developments teach us a tragic lesson about what may happen when global accords are negotiated and the narrow self-interest of powerful countries become paramount.
acceptable to most UN states.
One does not have to be worldrenowned scientists to warn that delays in solving the problems will only make a bad situation worse because, as Barbados explained, it would “lead unnecessarily to incurring greater environmental, social and economic costs”.
That’s a price Barbados and the rest of the region can’t afford to pay. Recent developments teach us a tragic lesson about what may happen when global accords are negotiated and the narrow self-interest of powerful countries become paramount. The Paris Climate Change Agreement reached during the Barack Obama administration was weakened shortly after Donald Trump moved into the White House. He unwisely and callously decided to leave the pact less than two years after it was signed with much justifiable fanfare and high expectations. Efforts to avoid a re-run of that unfortunate action should be front and centre of global consideration as the countries develop the instrument’s text, recognising, as Barbados put it rather delicately, that “despite our best efforts, not all states may be in a position to ratify the new instrument”. When Prime Minister Mia Mottley addresses the UN General Assembly for the first time later this month, she should reinforce the value of the Caribbean Sea to us and the need to protect it, plus the Atlantic and other oceans from looming dangers. Canada put it succinctly when it told the inter-governmental conference’s first session: “This is a moment many of us have long been waiting for: developing and delivering a legally binding text that would protect our waters.” We trust the UN, especially Washington, is paying attention.