By Meegan Scott
TORONTO, Canada At the Toronto Centres climate finance talks in Ottawa, Timothy Antoine, Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) said theclimate crisis is an existential threat to the Caribbean.
With climate risk emerging as thehot and urgent issuefacing theglobal financial sector,leaders and citizens of the region have good reason to be on edge.
Antoine and fellow panelists Nezha Hayat, Chairperson and CEO of the Moroccan Capital Market Authority (AMMC) and Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank (AfDB) recently called for thespeeding up of efforts to green financewithin Caribbean and African countries in order to ward of the catastrophic threats posed to the regions by global warming and the resulting climate crisis.
Antoine cited the case of Dominica where tropical storm Erika wiped out 90% of GDP in 2015; fast on its heels in 2017 hurricane Maria caused damage totaling 226% of its GDP.
Monster storms, now devastate across countries instead of sections of them. Those typical 100-year phenomena have not only intensified, they now occur in two-year periods. Next to no time is being left for financial or ecological recovery.
He further pointed out that some Caribbean islands would be under water by the 2100s, if financial resources were not rechanneled to provide more and new climate finance to the region.
The panel of financial regulators pressed home the need for developed countries including top emitters like Canada to live up to their moral obligations to reduce their investments in the brown economy. That is economic development or brown growth that relies on the use, production of and trade in fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gas and related activities that dramatically increases carbon emissions and are environmentally damaging.
The speakers expressed gratitude to Canada for its significant contribution in helping them to tackle the challenges posed by climate change, but were steadfast in their call for Canada to do more.
Each panelist highlighted the work that their region is carrying out to combat the crisis including greening finance.
They stressed their need for help with developing strategy guidelines, roadmaps, legal infrastructure, financial risk assessment, awareness creation within their financial sectors, and general how-to, in addition to finance in order to deliver the needed and desired results that could save their countries.
High on their wish list was more capacity building support from the Toronto Centre for Global Leadership in Financial Supervision (Toronto Centre). They were speaking at the fireside chat Greening Finance: Climate Change and its Impact on the Worlds Financial System.
The event was hosted by the Toronto Centre in celebration of International Development Week (IDW) which was observed between February 2-8, 2020.
This year marks the 30thedition of the celebrations which are convened by Global Affairs Canada. The theme of this Years celebration isGo for the Goals.
Greening finance requires the alignment and direction of financial flows towards sustainable low-carbon industries and the climate change targetsincluding the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The need to better manage environmental and social risks, take up opportunities that delivers both a decent rate of return and environmental benefit as well as greater accountabilityis a fundamental part of the process (United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP).
Delivering SDG 8,decent work and economic growth and upholding the duty of fair share inbenefits and burdens necessary to win against the dangers of climate change presents a sustainability and growth dilemma for developed and developing countries.
Case in point is Canada, relies heavily on the brown economy for its growth. Figures presented by theCanadian Energy Research Institute (CERI, July 2019), shows that while Canada champions combating climate change it invests heavily in oil sands development which is expected to contribute over $1.0 trillion to the Canadian economy from 2019 2029. The investments are also expected to generate growth from 332,847 jobs in 2018 to 532,673 jobs in 2029. Government will use taxes from these activities to finance healthcare, education and public infrastructure (CERI).
All disastrous outcomes which are neither farfetched nor in the distant horizon.
Last November, Canada made headlines on the reputational risk front when The Riksbank, became the worlds first to exit public debt because of climate exposure, when it sold sub-sovereign notes from Queensland, Western Australia and Alberta, Canada as a result of their high levels for carbon emissions.
Ignoring the call of developing countries to reduce emissions could present sudden existential threats to developed countries.
In last months report the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), warned that A future climate disaster orgreen swaneventcould bring down the global financial system a sentiment echoed during the discussions by Babak Abbaszadeh, President and CEO of the Toronto Centre. Like the monsters storms in the Caribbean the green swan event comes like a violent thief in the night.
Despite the herculean challenge Caribbean and African countries made it clear that they were not about playing a blame game in the battle against climate change, even though they are carrying 80% of the burden while contribution under 4% of emissions.
Nyong, says Africa is a solutions provider, 54 African countries have signed their commitments to reduce emissions. They have established knowledge sharing hubs, legal support for matters relating to climate change, and disaster reduction strategies.
The Caribbean now has the Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) which payouts in 14 days after a disaster; and disaster linked hurricane clauses which provide a loan repayment holiday after a disaster; they are also pursuing geo-thermal energy market development as part of owning their responsibilities.
Besides Jamaica the pursuit of catastrophe bonds (cat bonds) have not been successful, Antoine wants to see more citizens investing in the Eastern Caribbean Stock Exchange for wealth and capturing the opportunities presented by cat bonds.
Antoine cited further barriers such as the use of income per capita as a measure for financing which does not work for the region. He illustrated, when hurricane Katrina hit the USA the cost was 4% of GDP, but the monster storms in Dominica and another country cost more than 200 % of GDP. An entire island gets destroyed. He argues for change and was unapologetic in stating that the US $100 bn commitment made by 197 countries at21stConference of Parties (CoP21)in 2015 was not enough.
Nezha Hayat and Christine Hogan, moderator and Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Canada, made case of SDG 5 (Gender equality). Hayat has delivered remarkable results in that regard, but she points out the importance of political commitment and the changes implement under King, Mohammad VI with the 2004 family code in making the changes possible. Hogan says, the business case for gender equality is there but challenges exist.
The bottom line: developed countries must reduce emissions, developing country and developed country leaders in the financial sector, citizens and the private sector can no longer ignore the risks posed by climate change to the financial sector and their economies.
The Toronto Centre is funded by Global Affairs Canada, The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), The IMF and World Bank.
About the author: Meegan Scott, B.Sc. Hons, MBA, ATM-B, CL, PMP., is Jamaica-born Strategic Management Consultant, at Magate Wildhorse Consulting in Toronto & New York. This is a syndicated article.
- Protecting the Caribbean's most vulnerable people in the face of COVID-19: A UN Resident Coordinator blog - UN News - April 2nd, 2020
- How A Little Island In The Caribbean Sea Is Standing Up To The Goliath Of Coronavirus - Forbes - April 2nd, 2020
- Empty Hotels. Idled Tour Buses. The Pandemic Is Devastating Tourism. - The New York Times - April 2nd, 2020
- How COVID-19 Has Affected the Caribbean and Latin America - NBC 6 South Florida - April 2nd, 2020
- CBP Reminds Boaters of Reporting Requirements in the Caribbean to Slow COVID-19 Spread - HSToday - April 2nd, 2020
- Caribbean Moment: A Perfect Sandbar in The Bahamas - Caribbean Journal - April 2nd, 2020
- Corona Around the Caribbean - The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer - April 2nd, 2020
- Caribbean Moment: In Saint Lucia, a Journey to the Pitons - Caribbean Journal - April 2nd, 2020
- Around the Caribbean...Around the Caribbean...Around the Caribbean - Jamaica Observer - April 2nd, 2020
- Customs and Border Protection Reminds Boaters of Reporting Requirements in Caribbean - St, Thomas Source - April 2nd, 2020
- 24 Movies That Will Take You to the Caribbean Right Now - Caribbean Journal - April 2nd, 2020
- Take a mini-break in the Caribbean without leaving your house - Lonely Planet Travel News - April 2nd, 2020
- Are You Ready to Buy Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and NCL? - Motley Fool - April 2nd, 2020
- Caribbean nationals among thousands of COVID-19 deaths - Caribbean Life - April 2nd, 2020
- Caribbean Map / Map of the Caribbean - Maps and ... - March 31st, 2020
- Around the Caribbean... Around the Caribbean...Around the Caribbean... - Jamaica Observer - March 31st, 2020
- Helping the Caribbean in a Pandemic | Therese Turner-Jones - Caribbean360.com - March 31st, 2020
- CHTA: The Caribbean will resurface stronger in tourism - Dominican Today - March 31st, 2020
- Captain Lee From 'Below Deck' Expresses Concern the Caribbean Will Be 'Hit Hard' by Coronavirus - Showbiz Cheat Sheet - March 31st, 2020
- Trinidad Records Third Death from COVID-19 - caribbeannationalweekly.com - March 31st, 2020
- On the Trail of James Bond in the Caribbean, From Jamaica to Nassau - Caribbean Journal - March 31st, 2020
- Caribbean Map / Map of the Caribbean - Maps and Information ... - March 26th, 2020
- Caribbean Must Prepare Against Food Shortages because of COVID-19 - caribbeannationalweekly.com - March 26th, 2020
- Coronavirus Threatens Tourism Industry In The Caribbean - International Business Times - March 26th, 2020
- COVID-19 Pandemic and Latin America and the Caribbean: Time for Strong Policy Actions - International Monetary Fund - March 26th, 2020
- COVID-19 Watch: Caribbean islands surge past 750 confirmed cases of coronavirus - Antigua Observer - March 26th, 2020
- 10 Movies To Watch If You Love Pirates Of The Caribbean - Screen Rant - March 26th, 2020
- Reinvigorating Economic Growth in Latin America and the Caribbean: Can deep trade agreements help? - International Banker - March 26th, 2020
- Caribbean update on COVID-19 situation in the region - eTurboNews | Trends | Travel News - March 26th, 2020
- Around the Caribbean... Around the Caribbean... Around the Caribbean - Jamaica Observer - March 26th, 2020
- Government urged to halt implementation of public charge rule against Caribbean immigrants - NYCaribNews - March 26th, 2020
- Five Caribbean words that were spawned by coronavirus - Loop News Cayman - March 26th, 2020
- Virus: Sandals Closing All 19 Caribbean Resorts - The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer - March 26th, 2020
- The Cruise Industry Pressured Caribbean Islands Amid Coronavirus Concerns - The Intercept - March 16th, 2020
- Coronavirus-hit cruise ship in diplomatic scramble to find somewhere to dock - CNN - March 16th, 2020
- 5 Trending Food Destinations in the Caribbean - Caribbean Journal - March 16th, 2020
- Punta Cana has 9 of the 20 best family resorts in the Caribbean - Dominican Today - March 16th, 2020
- A Destination for All Ages in the Caribbean - TravelPulse - March 16th, 2020
- The 10 Best Pink Sand Beaches in the Caribbean - Caribbean Journal - March 16th, 2020
- The Best All-Inclusive Private-Island Destinations - Caribbean Journal - March 16th, 2020
- How the deadly coronavirus brought an industry to its knees: The 'cruise lines 9/11' - CNBC - March 16th, 2020
- Joanna Lumley's Hidden Caribbean locations and how to recreate her glamorous trip - Mirror Online - March 16th, 2020
- 14 Parish, a Caribbean restaurant with more than 100 rums, is coming to 53rd Street - Hyde Park Herald - March 16th, 2020
- Canceled: Caribbean Night on the horizon at the Opera House - PenBayPilot.com - March 16th, 2020
- Why Royal Caribbean's digital overhaul is safe from the coronavirus - Business Insider Nordic - March 16th, 2020
- How Will COVID-19 Affect Economies of Latin America & the Caribbean? - Havana Times - March 16th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean 3: Why Chow Yun-Fat's Role Was Reduced in China - Screen Rant - March 16th, 2020
- 5 Caribbean Islands Where You Can Go Beyond the Beach - The New York Times - March 6th, 2020
- The 10 Best Adults-Only Hotels in the Caribbean for 2020 - Caribbean Journal - March 6th, 2020
- Caribbean tourism threatened by the region's first cases of COVID-19 - Global Voices - March 6th, 2020
- Is This The Next Big Vacation Spot In The Caribbean? - Forbes - March 6th, 2020
- Spotlight On The Caribbean: Changing Weather - Global Finance - March 6th, 2020
- Curried Cabbage, the Perfect Caribbean Vegan Recipe - Caribbean Journal - March 6th, 2020
- This One Pirates of the Caribbean Line Plays on a Loop in My Head - Vulture - March 6th, 2020
- Strengthening Caribbean regional integration - Caribbean Life - March 6th, 2020
- The Invention of the "Healthy" Caribbean - JSTOR Daily - March 6th, 2020
- Caribbean Health Agency Raises Virus Threat Level to High - The St. Kitts-Nevis Observer - March 6th, 2020
- Royal Caribbean Is Starting To Look Attractive - Seeking Alpha - March 6th, 2020
- Top 7 Jamaican & Caribbean News Stories You Missed The Week Ending March 6th, 2020 - Jamaicans.com - March 6th, 2020
- Caribbean-style roti shop, On the Double, coming this spring to Union Market. - PoPville - March 6th, 2020
- 5 Female Chefs In The Caribbean Who Are Changing The Way We Look At Food - Forbes - February 24th, 2020
- Finding Bequia secret is out on vacation paradise in the Caribbean - Worcester Telegram - February 24th, 2020
- Caribbean islands: Things to know before you go - Newsday - February 24th, 2020
- Yo Ho, Yo Ho! This "Waters of the Caribbean" Candle Will Bring Back Disneyland Memories - POPSUGAR - February 24th, 2020
- Murder and White Privilege on a Family Holiday in the Caribbean - The New York Times - February 24th, 2020
- Marriott Adds 10,000 Rooms to its Pipeline in the Caribbean and Latin America - FTNnews.com - February 24th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean, Indiana Jones rank among best Disneyland rides - Deseret News - February 24th, 2020
- African Americans, Afro-Caribbean Americans, And Addiction - Addiction Center - February 24th, 2020
- These Are The Highest-Rated Snorkeling Spots In The Caribbean (On Trip Advisor) - TheTravel - February 24th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean to Close for Annual Refurbishment on May 11th in Disneyland Paris - wdwnt.com - February 24th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean to Close for Refurbishment at Disneyland Paris - Inside the Magic - February 24th, 2020
- Pirates of the Caribbean 6 theory: How Disney can fix the POTC franchise - Deseret News - February 24th, 2020
- A Must-Visit Caribbean Regatta in the BVI - Caribbean Journal - February 24th, 2020
- These Caribbean Islands Are Often Crowded... Because They're Cruise Ports - TheTravel - February 24th, 2020
- US to implement rule denying green cards to Caribbean immigrants who may need gov't aid - Jamaica Observer - February 24th, 2020
- Four men guilty of killing Briton in the Caribbean on round the world dream yachting holiday - Telegraph.co.uk - February 24th, 2020
- SBU Scientist Appeals for Greater Protection of Caribbean Sharks | | SBU - Stony Brook News - February 19th, 2020
- The Future Of Aruba: How The Tiny Caribbean Island Is Bracing For Major New Hotel Development - Forbes - February 19th, 2020
- The story behind alumni's Caribbean restaurant: Fazmoz - The Wichitan - February 19th, 2020
- These are the best places in the Caribbean - USA Today 10Best - February 19th, 2020