In November 2022, the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt will host the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), otherwise known as COP27.
The UNFCCC entered into force on 21 March 1994. Today, it has near-universal membership. The 198 countries that have ratified the Convention are called Parties to the Convention. Preventing “dangerous” human interference with the climate system is the ultimate aim of the UNFCCC.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the adoption of the UNFCCC. In these thirty years, the world has come a long way to better understand the science behind climate change, better assess its impacts and better developed tools to address its causes and consequences.
Small island states such as SVG risk being badly affected by climate change. Events such as sea level rise pose a big threat to small island communities, requiring drastic measures such as relocation of populations living in low areas. These challenges are compounded by limited institutional capacity, scarce financial resources and a high degree of vulnerability to systemic shocks.
Given the current global focus on climate change at COP27, we ask ‘what is SVG doing to reduce its carbon footprint?’
One main thing we should be doing – and could have done decades ago – is produce all of our electricity needs from renewable energy. Renewable energy is clean and does not damage the planet. We have an abundance of wind, water and sunshine. All our electricity needs could be produced from hydro, solar and wind power.
SVG should also not be encouraging tourism in SVG. When tourists fly thousands of miles to holiday in SVG their journey has a massive carbon footprint and negative effect on the climate. The worse climate change gets, the higher the sea level rises and the worse our country will be affected.
SVG needs to focus its economy on Green industries that do not have such a bad effect on the climate. It is in our best interests in the long-term.
More needs to be done to help households grow more of their own food. The less food we import, the less will be our carbon footprint as a country. Food security is a major issue for our country. We need to protect our environment so food growing areas are not badly damaged in adverse weather events and consider water storage in times of prolonged lack of rain.
Tax incentives should be used to encourage people to purchase electric vehicles, including buses, mopeds and bicycles. Better infrastructure is needed for charging electric vehicles, but the electricity charging these vehicles should be produced from renewable fuels as mentioned above.
The science is there and clearly shows the urgency with which SVG must act regarding rapidly reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases, taking necessary steps to assist those in need of support to adapt to the negative impacts of climate change and finding the appropriate solutions for the problems we will face.
SVG must be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We must substantially reduce our nation’s carbon footprint.