After Beryl, Antigua & Barbuda intensifies call for climate justice

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LOOP CARIBBEAN- The death and destruction caused by Hurricane Beryl in Grenada, St Vincent and the Grenadines and Jamaica has strengthened Antigua and Barbuda’s quest for vulnerable nations to be compensated for natural disasters caused by climate change.

During today’s post-cabinet media briefing, Lionel Hurst, Chief of Staff at the Prime Minister’s Office, echoed sentiments expressed by regional leaders, asserting the injustice of holding Antigua and Barbuda and other small states accountable for damage caused by the industralisation of larger and wealthier nations.

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“Our countries are not responsible for these vicious and ferocious storms that develop into category four and category five because of warm seas and heightened ambient temperatures. We are not responsible for it because we don’t spill into the atmosphere billions of tons of unwanted gases and particulate matter like the developed countries that have been involved in the industrial revolution for in excess of a century,” he said in response to a question from Loop News.

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“And they’re the ones who have caused the changes to come about in our weather patterns and in climate. We say that we have established a loss and damage fund into which they ought to pour millions of dollars so that the harm that they have caused  can cause us in turn to recover quickly and not have to go cap in hand to the United Nations to arrange for a pledging conference with the hope that they will indeed pledge some resources to enable us to recover quickly.”

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The fight for climate justice is nothing new to Antigua and Barbuda as Hurst noted former Prime Minister Lester Bird was at the forefront of efforts for the World Bank to create the Catastrophic Insurance Fund.

When asked if Hurricane Beryl taught Antigua and Barbuda any new lessons, Hurst said it highlighted the severe impact that one storm can have on a country.

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“There are no new lessons to be learned from it (Beryl). But clearly, whenever these hurricanes cause us to have to close our airport, close the seaport, shut down the hotels because they’re on the beaches and so on, that’s a disruption from which not very many lessons are learned, except the lesson of safety, because first and foremost, we want to be sure that there are no deaths,” he said.

Hurst added that Antigua and Barbuda remains ready to help its neighbours in their time of need and has already sent aid such as food, water and other emergency supplies to Grenada and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. If Antigua going to complain about Climate Justice then why build a bigger port and cruise terminal? Why they don’t contribute by taking a stance and banning gas vehicles and mandate by 10 years there should be all electric vehicles? Even so, to make electric vehicles you need factories which helps to to create combustion and climate harm. The point is, there will never be a resolution to this problem.

    • Spot on!

      One of the cruise industry’s most vocal critics is Friends of the Earth, which publishes a Cruise Ship Report Card that rates the environmental performance of 18 different cruise lines. In 2022, as in the nine previous Report Cards, the industry received mostly failing grades for sewage treatment, air pollution reduction and water quality compliance.

      For decades, most cruise ships have run on heavy fuel oil (HFO), also known as bunker fuel, a cheap and dirty fuel that emits harmful sulphur dioxide (SOx), which is known to cause eye, lung, and respiratory tract damage. When mixed with water, SOx forms corrosive sulphuric acid and leads to acid rain. A 2019 study found that the outdoor air quality on cruise ship decks in open water was comparable to highly polluted cities in China.

      https://www.bbvaopenmind.com/en/science/research/are-cruise-ships-becoming-less-eco-awful/

      So when will Mr. Hurst and his Prime Minister be held accountable, for the damage to the health of the people of Antigua, and that of the surrounding environment, caused by these Cruise Ships?

  2. Whilst we can give thanks that the passage of Beryl did not have a far more devastating effect on Barbados, the Windward Islands and Jamaica and our respective economies, it is a most daunting thing to think that we could be facing more of these monster storms this year and in years to come. Caribbean governments work very diligently in order to grow their economies and to make life easier for their citizens. But in the twinkle of an eye, all that can be wiped out and send these small countries into an economic tailspin. We contribute so little to global warming and to climate change but we are forever facing the brunt of these wicked and evil storms. Caribbean governments must leave no stones unturned in getting the big industrialized nations to compensate us for the damages that they continue to cause to our economies yearly.

  3. The Earth is 6 billion years old, an accurate representative climate data sample is around 300 million years of climate data, not 100, not 1000, not 10,000 years. When the green marxists can provide 300M years of climate data come talk to me otherwise STFU.

    There is no problem dude.

  4. Re; “natural disasters caused by climate change”.

    Right off the bat we have an oxy moron.

    June 30, 2024
    “Beryl is now the earliest Category 4 hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean and the only Category 4 storm ever recorded in the month of June” – CNN.
    https://www.cnn.com/2024/06/30/weather/hurricane-beryl-barbados-caribbean-sunday/index.html

    June 27, 1957 – Category 4 hurricane Audrey was one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history, killing at least 416 people. Audrey, along with Hurricane Alex (Cat 2 – June 25, 2010), was also the strongest June hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hurricane_Audrey

    The Gulf of Mexico (Golfo de México in Spanish) is located in the Atlantic Ocean…
    https://blog.prepscholar.com/gulf-of-mexico

    BERYL WAS NOT THE EARLIEST, NOR THE ONLY CATEGORY 4 STORM EVER RECORDED IN THE MONTH OF JUNE. THIS IS NOT AS UNCOMMON AS THE MSM WOULD HAVE US ALL THINK, OR THAT IT WAS A RESULT OF CLIMATE CHANGE.

  5. Well since don’t know for sure what is causing the current climate issues, there is no harm in working to mitigate against it by planting trees, reducing emissions etc. Also, richer countries that might be contributing more to it should help pay for stringer houses in disaster prone areas such as the Caribbean or they should open up their borders to us and allow us to settle on lands in larger continents after major disasters that wipe everything out especially since they are buying off all the good land and properties in these islands leaving little for us anyway. We all have a right to live on earth. We should not be confined to just a tiny island if it is not sustainable to live here. So, all major countries should allow for easy access to Islanders to settle there when needed or do more to help islands develop sustainable housing for all residents both rich and poor.

  6. I think [all], of the #commenters on this news item are independent, and critical thinkers.
    Now, with that said; we’re still gonna ‘agree to disagree,’ on some [things].

    These storms of the Essence of Nature’s Ether have being in existence, since, #existence and will continue to do so, until there is no more #existence. This cannot be logical, since, the second anything is destroyed, something is created. Neil DeGrasse(spelling), Joe Biden, Marcus Garvey could disagree, but they cannot prove this reality false.

    Next, #Bak_2_daFuchah!

    As it pertains to HUEmans, their #existence morphing into exist then exit, thence to past tense, the THREE(3) basic STAPLES of HUEman living, as in #food, #shelter, #clothing is still very applicable even in the era of Global Warming, Climate Change, Phucking with the Essence of Nature’s Ether by unscrupulous and greedy hybrid animals called humans.

    The physical destructions caused by these catastrophic storms are more apt to affect the food supply and shelter from the elements.

    As we have learned and become wise over thousands of years, preparations are key. Not only does food and shelter go hand in glove, the policy makers aka politicians #WHO’RE in debt and in bed with their handlers, the guilty one MUST know that, or at least UNDERGROUND BUNKERS are great places to store food, so that whenever CRISIS like these arise, there is a buffer to take island
    Nations to the NEXT STEP.

    Underground bunkers while they may be susceptible to earthquakes (the Leeward Islands must pay close attention to what is happening beneath the waves of the oceans, and not just on the top/surface); designing with such things as…

    1…HEMPCRETE
    2…CONTAINERS
    3…RECYCLED RUBBER
    4…more. Circular shapes, as was is the case with those Sugarmills.
    5…FLAT(slightly sloped roofs).

    In hurricanes most of the damages to the property begins with the roofs being removed from or is damaged causing more damage from water/flooding.

    In the case of wooden structures, octagonal, hexagonal, shapes of the structure(s) while they are more labour intensive, tend to handle the forces of the wind much better!

    Ras Smood aka Jumbee_Picknee
    De’ole Dutty Peg🦶🏿Garrat_Bastard

    Vere C. Edwards

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