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Lowe worried about cost to environment

Minister of the Environment, Dr Denis Lowe, has said it is costing the Government of Barbados millions of dollars to deal with the impact of climate change.

Speaking at this year’s climate change conference, the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, Dr Lowe said changing weather patterns have been affecting Barbados in the past few years, and Government was taking steps to deal with the impact.

“We’ve been noticing, for example, a significant amount of beach erosion. It’s costing the Government of Barbados, at least in this cycle, about US$80 million just to fix some of our coastlines. We’ve seen some impact as it relates to drought. This year has been a year characterized by a tremendous shortage of rainfall [and] that has impacted on our crops and we anticipate that that will continue,” Lowe said.

He added: “Even though the hurricane season has not been unkind to us, we nonetheless anticipate that as we go forward that we’re going to see a lot more erratic weather, we will see weather patterns that are inconsistent with our history and therefore we are preparing ourselves in advance to treat to those issues when they happen.

Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe

Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe

“And then of course there are a number of other effects that are taking place that we are concerned about in the Ministry of the Environment and we’re trying to advance and develop programmes to counter those impacts,” Dr Lowe said ahead of discussions on the second draft agreement to curb global warming.

Dr Lowe, who co-chaired talks on rising sea temperatures, noted that this is a major concern for Barbados and other low-lying countries because of the impact on the environment and the economy.

He said developing states were hoping to convince larger countries to limit any further increase in greenhouse gas emissions to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

“We feel that although this is marginal, it will keep us at the survival end of things,” he said.

However, he was optimistic that the world’s advanced economies are getting the message that action must be taken to reduce the effects of climate change, especially on vulnerable countries.

“I am getting a sense that the world community is getting a sense of the urgency of the CARICOM concern. We noticed that the conversation has now reached the stage where other world leaders are talking close to where we want to be at.

“It has been a contentious issue over the years and I think we’ve come at a good place now in the conversation relative to the world accepting the legitimacy of our concern, accepting the science upon which it is based, and realizing that the region has every right to be very stout in its advocacy for that particular outcome,” Dr Lowe said.

He noted however, that individuals can make lifestyle changes to make a difference in addressing climate change.

“We have to do all things differently in terms of how we manage our efficiency levels and utilization of electricity. In terms of how much driving we do, and when we can avoid driving our own vehicles and take public transport.  Because the more vehicles we put on the street, the more greenhouse gases we emit and the greater the impact will be on the environment and on climate change,” Lowe said.

12 Responses to Lowe worried about cost to environment

  1. Tony Webster December 11, 2015 at 6:47 am

    Now I know why everything went quiet, quiet, the other day. The WORLD stopped to was listen to what this gentleman was saying in Paris!! Rapt, you might say. Should either be carved in stone; or speupsed-to-death. Your pick.

  2. Coloured Man
    Coloured Man December 11, 2015 at 6:51 am

    Were are the garbage trucks its Xmas and I have not c a truck in 3 weeks

  3. Peachesnaddy Brown
    Peachesnaddy Brown December 11, 2015 at 8:02 am

    Tell us how much you put in your pocket

  4. Heather Cole
    Heather Cole December 11, 2015 at 8:29 am

    Those are blanket statements that he made. Ask him to bear the burden of proof and I very much doubt that he would be able to produce receipts of the payments that government has made because of climate change. Perhaps the “finders fee” of 2 Million for the Cahill project has been included in the category. His actions are set to destroy the environment in Barbados. If his contribution was only state how much money was spent on climate change he should have stayed at home because his said actions to build the Cahill plasma Gasification plant will contribute to climate change and pollution. He is not an environmentally friendly minister. If the rest of the world does not know of your actions Barbadians do and they would prefer to hear him say that the Cahill plant will not be built.

  5. Martine Boyer
    Martine Boyer December 11, 2015 at 10:49 am

    Ban styrofoam please…

  6. Tony Applewhaite
    Tony Applewhaite December 11, 2015 at 1:56 pm


  7. Tony Applewhaite
    Tony Applewhaite December 11, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    According to the new NASA analysis of satellite data, the Antarctic ice sheet showed a net gain of 112 billion tons of ice a year from 1992 to 2001. That net gain slowed to 82 billion tons of ice per year between 2003 and 2008. NO CLIMATE CHANGE

  8. Ryan Bayne
    Ryan Bayne December 11, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    How Lowe can you get constantly, Denis?

  9. Lloyd P Gulston December 11, 2015 at 2:53 pm

    The only misrepresentation by Dr. D. Lowe is the millions that Barbados is spending on fixing its coastal beaches. If is clear that the minister has factored into the allege millions the few works over a few years on a few beaches subjected to severe beach erosion. I will also assume that he has factored in, as well, the construction of the boardwalk in that sum. As far as I can see, Barbados beaches are still subjected to beach erosion, though the few works done has slowed it significantly.

  10. Maya Trotz December 11, 2015 at 7:06 pm

    Pity Dr. Lorna Iniss was not given a permanent appointment as director of coastal zone management. Pity when an island like Barbados loses such a good person who put so much time and effort into climate change and coastal resilience in Barbados. Real shame that she left.


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