Last week Prime Minister of Barbados, Ms. Mia Amor Mottley, told the 74th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) that many Caribbean islands will not survive the effects of global climate change, even in the unlikely event that countries abide by the two-degree rise in temperature, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. See video. Earlier Ms. Mottley during the Understanding Risk Caribbean Conference called for greater harmonization, exchange and learning of resilient planning strategies in the Caribbean.
Whilst many Caribbean leaders are following Babados, in Curaçao our policy makers, civil society, academic institutions have yet to adequately address the needs of our island regarding this matter. Not only that. Some politicians here mock the few who tirelessly try to raise awareness regarding climate change by calling them “enemy of the people”. Others want to entirely eliminate the Planning and Zoning Ordinance (EOP) -a nuisance for certain politicians and developers- in favor of total deregulation.
Thankfully Ms. Mottley spoke on behalf of many of us who are represented by representatives who prefer to remain mute and only concentrate on the periodic cycle of elections unaware that this topic will not go away and could easily -sooner than later- end up turning into a full-blown crisis. Yes, fighting crime, dealing with depopulation, poverty and the education crisis, are acute and should be dealt with. Remember however that many of today’s problems were once remote problems we chose not to deal with.