Four Ways We Can Act on Climate Change

Date: 4/4/2022
Author(s): Central Bank Of Barbados

Created 04 Apr, 2022
Tags Caribbean Economic Forum CBB
Categories General Press Release
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Caribbean people whose livelihoods depend on nature should have a hand in fighting climate change. This was one of four suggestions made during the Central Bank of Barbados’ March 2022 Caribbean Economic Forum, “Building Resilience Against Climate Change.” The discussion, which featured climate experts Rueanna Haynes, Director, Climate Analytics Caribbean; Cletus Springer, Chairman, Caribbean Natural Resources Institute (CANARI); and Professor Taylor, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of the West Indies, Mona touched on several ways the region can overcome some of the compounded issues of climate change.

Work with Those Whose Livelihoods Depend on Nature

Springer said we must “get down to the level of the actors themselves to help them understand the challenges they face and build their resilience based on that understanding.” Many of our sectors depend on natural resources to thrive, and issues such as ocean acidification, rising water temperatures and reduced oxygen levels are severely impacting our fishing industry. Furthermore, those in this sector are putting their lives at risk. Change in fish stock and venturing into rougher waters mean fisherfolk have to advocate for their own resilience along with others, Professor Taylor stressed. Implementing emerging technologies such as weather warning systems and real time data can aid those in the sector to better understand the conditions they face.

Use Innovation to Tackle Problems

Harvesting sargassum seaweed is costing the region between $150-$180 million a year. Its high arsenic and heavy metal compounds are not suited for different forms of management such as pharmaceuticals, textile paper, cardboard, and containers, but as a fertilizer it is enterprising. St. Lucia has already created a thriving industry and the technology for doing this is being shared, Springer explained. Further across the pacific, countries such as Mexico are tackling the problem by catching the seaweed out at sea as this makes harvesting easier.

Be Consistent with Efforts Across All Sectors

Several entities are working on fighting climate change across the Caribbean, but what is missing is a wholistic and consistent approach. Creating urgency will require targeted efforts across sectors rather than a piecemeal approach. Therefore, accepting the Paris Agreement and with it the reduction in green house gases should be matched with similar efforts in energy policy. Creating consistency and urgency means we have to see efforts targeted in health, agriculture, biodiversity, finance, and the water sector, Professor Taylor explained.

Work Together to Decentralise Renewable Energy

Larger renewable energy sources such as solar farms and wind turbines are damaged during extreme weather conditions. Implementing decentralised, or smaller units to households will require a coordinated effort. Haynes explained the support, investment, and distribution to larger sections of people require tackling outdated legislation and having all players such as governments, regulators, utilities and the private sector working together. Most importantly, citizens also need to play their part by being more responsive ahead of an event and disaster, she stated.

The next Caribbean Economic Forum takes place on Thursday, May 5 at 8:00 p.m. This special edition, which coincides with the Bank’s 50th anniversary, will tackle “How Can Caribbean Central Banks Fight Inflation?”



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