NASSAU, The Bahamas – While addressing the Closing Ceremony of the Caribbean Regional Heads of Government Meeting in Preparation for the United Nations Climate Change Conference of The Parties 27 (COP 27), on August 17, 2022, Prime Minister of The Bahamas and Minister of Finance the Hon. Philip Davis pointed out that the road to COP27 was “not long”.
“We have less than three months before we are gathered in Sharm El-Sheikh, and decisions will be made to advance climate action or maintain the status quo,” Prime Minister Davis said at the event held at Baha Mar Convention Centre. “These decisions will have significant ramifications for our people and nations.”
Also speaking at the Ceremony was Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on Climate Change and Environmental Matters, Dr. Rochelle Newbold.
Prime Minister Davis outlined the “next steps” from the meeting, which was ending that day, and potential considerations for regional action.
“Firstly, a draft summary of these proceedings, which will be no more than three to four pages long, is currently being prepared, in collaboration with the UNFCCC Secretariat,” he said. “This draft summary of proceedings should be ready for circulation to your Governments before the end of the week.”
Prime Minister Davis asked those present to note that the draft summary of proceedings was not “all encompassing”.
“It is meant to be factual and will cover the main issues – under the four Thematic Areas addressed in this meeting,” he said.
“The draft summary of proceedings, will be utilized to complete a Chair’s Note for this Regional Meeting.”
Prime Minister Davis pointed out that the Chair’s Note would be further flushed out and refined with participants’ comments and views, and he provided an email address to provide their inputs or proposals.
He noted, for example, that they had heard “innovative proposals” for pooled procurement of critical items for climate adaptation. “We have also heard about advancing a Regional Blue Economy Strategy and Framework,” Prime Minister said. “We have heard about the need to rethink debt sustainability and access to products.”
Prime Minister Davis said that his Government would continue to review and incorporate views sent in by Parties to make an “inclusive Chair’s note”.
“Additionally, I look forward from the Chair’s Note, that we as a region are able to echo key positions going into the UN General Assembly and other key high-level meetings in the lead up to COP27,” he said.
Prime Minister Davis noted that those in attendance wished to have consensus among their region to have a similar regional meeting to be done every year and incorporated into the UNFCCC calendar, noting that their “voices need to be louder more than ever”.
“As I had indicated earlier, we cannot advocate properly if we are not given a priority in this space,” he said.
“I also have been in touch with the COP27 Presidency to discuss making a space for us as a region to highlight and advance further actions and ideas that came out of this meeting at COP27, and look forward to your collaboration in this matter,” Prime Minister Davis added.
“In closing, on behalf of the Government and people of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas, I want to express my continued gratitude for your participation, fruitful discussion and I know our region will only come out stronger by working together and united for climate action.”