Barbados has one of the smallest carbon footprints in the world, but it is one of many countries on the front line of climate change.
It is now a ‘code red’ and the major polluters need to sit up and address the problem – which may not affect their populations for another 15 to 20 years.
This was the view expressed by Prime Minister Mia Mottley in an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP26 now on in Glasgow, Scotland.
Mottley said it was seen in the problems Barbados was experiencing with a lack of water, drought-like conditions and the encroachment of sea water into the ground water supply. Marine life was disappearing from coral reefs, sargassum seaweed on the east coasts caused by rising temperatures was threatening the tourism industry and there was an increase in the frequency and intensity of hurricanes and flooding.
She cited Hurricane Elsa, the first Barbados experienced in 66 years and the freak storm with 46 000 lightning strikes in 90 minutes.
“The problem is the people who need to make the decisions are kicking the can down the road and they believe that they can because they are not seeing us. They see themselves; and for them, they don’t reach that period of peril probably for another 15/20 years,” Mottley told Amanpour.
She said it was 4 degrees to go for Shanghai and Miami to be eradicated, but it was 1.5 and 2 for Barbados and other countries.
“So there are a lot of us that are going to be affected before Shanghai and Miami,” she added.