Wednesday, December 7, 2022

What Can Davis Accomplish at COP27 as Inflation and Energy Prices Surge Around the World?

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Prime Minister Philip Davis carried a contingent of 70 people from the Bahamas to attend COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, to call on developed countries to pay for the effects of climate change on small island nations like the Bahamas.

Davis like other leaders of small island nations contend that the release of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide has increased the likelihood of hurricanes which have worsened over the past few years, and the country’s debt is tied to the responses to natural disasters.

PM Davis is shown in Egypt. Photo credit: Office of the Prime Minister

Last year, at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, chief “polluters” like the United States, China, India, Russia, Japan and Germany promised to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by 1.5 degrees Celsius. But only a few countries that signed on to the Paris climate agreement, have worked toward the target goal.

Reports say carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere that were released from developed countries this year reached 421 parts per million, the highest in history. In fact, the planet just recorded one of the hottest summers.

Many countries have experienced rising floods, heat waves, storms, and droughts which are believed to be worsened by rising temperatures, which experts say are the repercussions of climate change.

However, following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world changed its focus to inflation, rising energy prices, conflict, food shortages and supply chain issues which would likely prevent any other focus on the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The fuel shortages spurred by the conflict, are pushing countries toward mining and drilling for fossil fuels. Germany has since restarted coal power plants.  And world leaders are worried about rising prices.

Preventing temperatures from exceeding 1.5 degrees seems out of reach and it’s likely the developed countries will ignore the pleas of Davis, Mia Mottley and other leaders of small island nations in compensating for climate change losses.

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