Guterres appeals greater support for small islands battle climate change

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Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau
UNITED NATIONS, 3rd March.
UN chief Antonio Guterres on Saturday has appealed the international community for more funds to support Small Island Developing States on the frontlines of climate change.

Mr. Guterres visited a project in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that is helping the nation to combat the effects of coastal erosion and rising seas – among the impacts of global warming.

He commended the initiative, known as the Georgetown Sea Defense, he underlined the need for greater solidarity and financial support.

“We must have stronger support from the international community what we call climate justice – which means adequate financing at low cost, quickly decided, in order to allow for all these works that we have been seeing to protect the island against the sea, and against the floods and storms,” he said.

Mr. Guterres said that SIDS must have quick and easy access to climate finance through the Loss and Damage Fund.

He noted that the long-awaited mechanism to help vulnerable countries offset the damage from droughts, floods and other extreme weather caused by climate change, finally became operational at the UN COP28 climate conference in Dubai last year.

Mr. Guterres explained that under the fund, small projects like the one he visited would not require the same level of bureaucracy as those costing billions.

He said that they call for “quick decisions and quick operationalization of the money available, and much more funding,”.

“The people of the Small Island Developing States are on the frontlines of climate change. They did not contribute to global warming, but they are paying the price,” he added.

He also surveyed areas of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines that were affected by the April 2021 eruption of the La Soufrière volcano.

Some 20,000 people, a fifth of the population, had to evacuate immediately. New houses were built in the resettlement area for those whose homes were destroyed.

Mr. Guterres traveled to the country to attend the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States summit held on Friday.

He paid tribute to the courage, resilience and solidarity of the people in the aftermath of the volcano.

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