Saturday, August 13, 2022

Antigua PM Describes COP26 As A ‘Great PR Platform’

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ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC) — Although admitting that there have been some benefits to the ongoing United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne has described the Glasgow event as a “public relations exercise”.

Browne said that the establishment of the Commission of Small Island States on Climate Change and International Law is likely to be one of the most significant outcomes of the November 1-12 conference. The latter was established to create an avenue through which larger countries can be held accountable for their role in global warming and its impact on the most vulnerable states.

But in highlighting some key issues that were overlooked at COP26, Browne said factors that should have been included in discussions were; increased subsidies to green energy, reducing fossil fuels and an increased scale for funding for small islands.

“We want to see subsidies going to renewables to reduce the price. Electric vehicles (EV) for example….we need to see subsidies going to reduce the price of electric vehicles so that we can transit from these fossil vehicles into EVs,” he shared. “We also wanted to see the increased scale of funding so that more monies would be made available to small island states and other developing countries to adapt and mitigate against the effects of climate change and even to have some form of mechanism for compensation for loss and damage.”

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“Those are among the objectives we had established going into COP26, but unfortunately if you look beyond the incremental gains, COP26 was merely a PR exercise, a great PR platform,” Browne continued.

He did, however; acknowledge that some benefits had been attained from the conference.

“Look there were some gains. I mean South Africa for example should benefit from funding from the G7 countries as they literally seek to close their coal industries. A number of countries would have committed to subsidising renewables to make them affordable,” he shared. “You would know that the G7 countries promised US$100 billion many years ago. That has not materialised so this increased pledge from Japan obviously will put it closer, but it is still not enough.”

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Editorial Staff
Editorial Staff
Our Editorial Staff at St. Lucia Times is a team publishing news and other articles to over 200,000 regular monthly readers in Saint Lucia and in over 150 other countries worldwide.

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