Barbados Prime Minister calls for creation of $5 trillion Climate Trust – SABC News

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Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley has called for reform of the international financial system and the creation of a $5 trillion Climate Trust to fund climate change mitigation around the world.

Mottley was delivering the annual Nelson Mandela Lecture in Durban, talking about what developing countries in the South should do in the face of the climate crisis. This comes as the United Nations COP27 climate summit is taking place in Egypt.

Durban was chosen to host the conference in a show of solidarity with the victims of this year’s devastating floods.

Prime Minister of Barbados says climate change has already happened. She says the world is facing a climate crisis, with warnings from COP27 that the Earth is on a path where parts of the globe will become uninhabitable, giving rise to climate refugees.

Mottley adds that countries have to deal with multiple crises at the same time like COVID-19, and what she calls the “cancer of inflation.”

Mottley says the international financial system is still skewed along colonial lines and needs reform. It proposes the creation of a $5 trillion Climate Trust to which any country can apply to fund projects aimed at mitigating climate change.

“We are not asking for the money to come back to us. We say do it anywhere. But what has to happen is that you have to and unfortunately. What we always get is deadlock. It’s edible because humanity is so engrossed in the geopolitics of today’s world that we forget the reality of the planet we live on. It’s sad because at the end of the day, the weather waits for no one and neither does the climate wait for anyone to minimize its impact on our way of life,” says Mottley.

Mottley calls on governments in developing countries to call with one voice for the changes needed. However, she also says that everyone – from big business to philanthropists and everyday people can make a difference.

She says this can be done by walking more and driving less, saving water and planting your own vegetables.

“The world we have come to know has changed for us. And either we will decide as people of the South to be firm artisans of our destiny and shapers of our destiny, or we will continue to be the victims as we have been for centuries,” adds Mottley.

Mottley acknowledged that the scale of disasters exceeds the resources governments have to provide shelter to those who have, for example, lost their homes in floods such as those in KwaZulu-Natal. She says different solutions are needed in response to disasters.

“But the extent of the damage is beyond what exists. And unless you have new ways to prefabricate houses, it will always take time once the shelter has been lost. So it’s a difficult question for countries to manage and unfortunately it’s going to get more and more complex, but I think we’re also going to have to look at the types of prefabricated houses,” says Mottley.

Clasping hands in a call to action, former President Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel thanked Mottley for his message.

“Hello, Africa! Hello, Global South. It’s time for Global South to take the lead. Hello! North and South, it’s time to listen. And hello human family, we have only one planet. We don’t have two. And we have the ability to save it. And we’ve been told how to do it. Yes,” Machel said.

After the event, Mottley was introduced to a boy Romario Valentine from Durban who has written a book on climate change with eco-projects and green tips.

Mottley promises to put him in touch with a schoolgirl from Barbados who is also an environmental activist so that together they can change the world.


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