An annual allocation of $2 trillion is required for developing countries to respond to the effects of climate change, says professor Avinash Persaud, special Envoy to the prime minister (Barbados) for investment and financial services, in an address to a forum on The Bridgetown Initiative at The University of the West Indies (UWI).
The Bridgetown Initiative was devised by a group led by Persaud and Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley to address the issue of mobilizing climate finance for small island developing states.
UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles compared the Bridgetown Initiative to the 1944 United Nations Monetary and Financial Conference in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, which provided the spark that gave birth to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Beckles argued that same conditions occur today, with the same need for “economic justice for the people of this region and all of those who have suffered the exploitative journey of colonialism.”
Persaud said that the figure “is bigger than any developing country’s balance sheet. It’s beyond all the philanthropists. Bridgetown is a system of finance that gets us to $2 trillion a year.”
Other participants included Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska, head, European Union Delegation to Barbados, the OECS and CARICOM/CARIFORUM; Kerrie Symmonds, minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade, Barbados, who represented Mottley; and Kevin Bender, The Nature Conservancy.
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