PHILIPSBURG–Compensation from industrial nations will be sought by Caribbean nations for losses related to global warming, especially for its impact on the region’s mainstay – tourism.
Caribbean representatives are slated to meet in Mexico in June to formulate an “adequate” compensation package to present to the representatives of industrialized nations, Finance Minister Richard Gibson Sr. said on Wednesday. The compensation will be used, among other things, for protection of beaches.
The meeting will be under the umbrella of the Caribbean Development and Cooperation Committee (CDCC) of which St. Maarten is now an associate member. There are also plans to raise the issue at the United Nations, the global agency of which CDCC is an operating arm.
Global warming has not been caused by Caribbean nations, but they are on the front line of those affected with threats to their coastlines and economy. The industrialized nations are “culprits” of global warming, he said.
Gibson said tourists head to St. Maarten and other places in the Caribbean for the “sun, sea and sand” experience, one that will be severely affected if water levels continue to rise and sand is washed away. “It is a major problem for all Caribbean islands,” he said.
Caribbean countries are also to band together to fight another issue that poses severe threats to their economies. Gibson pointed out the move by some international banks to end their relationships with local banks in the region could have devastating effects for St. Maarten and the Caribbean.
He said cross border financial transactions are needed in the development of a country and its economy. “We are now under threat” from this issue, because some international banks “prefer to end their relationships completely with local banks, instead of mitigating the risks of individual clients.”
One factor playing a significant part in the banking issue is the hefty fines banks will have to pay for doing business with clients of whom there is even a hint of association with anything to do with financing of terrorism, money laundering or other such areas.
This is “a real vexing problem and needs all the attention we can give to it,” said Gibson.
The CDCC is also working on putting together a lobby group to put forward the case for the Caribbean to the UN and to the United States Government in Washington D.C.
Source: Daily Herald
Caribbean countries aim to seek compensation for climate change