tv Global Questions BBC News August 17, 2021 2:30am-3:01am BST
this is bbc news — the headlines. president biden has strongly defended his decision to withdraw american troops from afghanistan — saying the goals of the us mission had been counter—terrorism, not nation—building. he also said he had made clear to the taliban that any attack on us personnel would be met with devastating force if necessary. the us and britain say they'll send more troops to the afghan capital to help the evacuation of hundreds of people — desperate to escape kabul after the taliban takeover. there have been chaotic scenes at the airport — with people clinging to, and then falling from, planes taking off. a tropical storm has made landfall in haiti — drenching the country with heavy rain as it deals with the aftermath of saturday's powerful earthquak. at least 1a hundred people were killed in the quake and almost 7000 injured.
now on bbc news: ahead of cop 26, the un's flagship climate conference, global questions looks at the resilience of smaller nation states like barbados in the caribbean. hello and welcome to this second edition of global questions with me, zeinab badawi, from barbados. the caribbean is the region in the world that's most vulnerable to natural disasters such as hurricanes. these have become stronger and more frequent as temperatures and sea levels rise, causing coastal erosion and damage to marine life and ecosystems. the government here in barbados says that climate change is the biggest threat to the caribbean, and is urging strong action at the national, regional and global level. are the right steps being taken, and is the world listening? that's global questions: climate and the caribbean.
applause. well, i'm now at the 18th—century george washington house, one of the finest and historic buildings here in the capital of barbados, bridgetown. i am joined by a local audience, who are going to be putting their questions to my two panellists. let me tell you who's in the hot seat. kirk humphry, you're the minister of maritime affairs and the blue economy for barbados, you also have held senior roles at international development agencies, and you believe that caribbean countries need to come together as one to tackle climate change, so welcome to you. and ashley lashley, you are the founder
of a campaign group called hey, which stands for healthy and environmentally—friendly youth, and ashley lashly, and you work with unicef, the un agency for children and yound people. and ashley, you're 22 years old, but you have been involved in grassroots environment and climate activism since you were 16. so welcome to you both and to my audience here, and also to you, wherever you're watching or listening to this programme. remember you too canjoin the conversation, the hashtag is #bbcglobalquestions. let's get down now to our first question, it's from maria marshall. maria, your question please? honourable ministers, panellists, ladies - and gentlemen, thank. you for this opportunity. now for the question. we just had a tropical storm elsa and this was the first. of the hurricane season, and it caused major- damages and disruption. do the caribbean countries have a plan of action - for recovery from these types of natural disasters? - minister kirk humphrey,
you kick off. i think it's important to put this question into context, and realise that no matter what the caribbean does, we really are on the front line of what is happening in the world, we are on the front line of changes in the climate. the reality is for us in the caribbean is we face hurricanes, earthquakes, volcanoes, many of us in the region would have never thought volcanoes would have affected barbados. we also face landslides, tsunamis, surges in the storms and currents, so there are lots of things happening in the caribbean. we are really on the frontline. and the question asked is what are we going to do about the, i believe the intensity, the frequency, because it's changing. the reality is first i think we have to accept that things are changing. we have to plan for it. barbados and the caribbean has taken a number of steps in terms of our planning, to be more prepared. one of the worst things we can do as a region is to act as if we are responding,
reacting to something that we should have seen coming. and a lot of these changes we should see coming. firstly as you said, zeinab, i think the caribbean region has to work together as one. when we speak on the international platform and the international stage as individual islands, we are not heard. and the reality is that when we speak as a collective we have a much better chance of being heard. we face the exact same issues, we have to come together to tackle these issues. i think we also have to invest in research, because i have come to the realisation very clearly, no—one is coming to save us. we have to come together to save ourselves, we have to invest in research... but these are all long—term measures. i mean, what are you doing when the hurricanes and the volcanoes and the storms are all hitting you now, you need to improve your stormwater infrastructure, improve your drainage system, adaptation, resilience? in terms of what we're doing, we have to build stronger houses, we have to make sure we have houses that can withstand category three, four and 5 hurricanes,
because these are becoming the norm for us. we have to look at our water runoff. traditionally we would build houses in areas where water would run, and now we are dealing with the rising surges in water we are finding our houses are being exposed. many of the islands in the caribbean have what they call a physical development plan, they have adaptation plans. we are putting them into action but we have to build out better, and that is the only way we're going to be able to deal with it, but i think really and truly we have to consider education, we have to work with the people and we have to work as a government regionally. all right. ashley lashley, what is your answer to maria's question? minister, i share your same sentiments and i believe that as a caribbean nation we need to become more resilient to the impact from natural disasters. i also believe that within our country, each individual ministry should have a mandate to deal with climate resilience and climate adaptation and mitigation. it needs to be a mandate, because as people we need to see more sensitisation and awareness on these issues being brought to the fore, so i really believe that we need to do more to become more resilient
as a small island developing nation to these natural disasters. maria, do you want to respond to what you have heard ashley and the minister say? i would like to say that, l thank you for the answer, and i could have learnedj a thing or two from that. laughs. so impressive, 12 years old, and an ardent climate activist. applause. thank you maria, thank you. let's go to our second question now, and it's from ranako bailey. where is the balance - between boosting economic activity, for example - the expansion of the tourism industry, and environmental impacts of pollution, - deforestation and the - disruption of ecosystems? minister kirk humphrey, you have to get the balance right — you want economic growth for the people here, you have got unemployment level of about i7%, youth unemployment is even higher at 32%, you want to give people a decent living, but you don't want to do it at
the expense of the environment? yeah. so, again, thank you for your question. i am the ministerfor maritime affairs and blue economy. the blue economy in itself is almost a paradox. i have been dealing with this for a long time. you want to preserve on the one hand the ocean space, and you want to produce at the same time from the ocean space. these are conflicting ideas. how do you do that in a way that is sustainable? i have a view that we have to protect first of all the ocean space, we have to give credence to the idea that the climate matters,
but there is more value i think, beyond extractive values. if you look at the ocean space, people believe all you can get is extraction. and that is not reality. there is value inherent in the ocean in itself. so that tourism, when it comes to barbados, tourists have the opportunity to see a turtle, they have an opportunity to see a fish, and that is what you call inherent value. many people believe we ought to catch those turtles and catch those fish. it is going to require a long conversation with the barbadian people and caribbean people, because many people do not fully appreciate what is going to be required to do these things sustainably. covid—i9 must have taught us that we cannot rely necessarily on tourism. covid—i9 must have taught us that the old model of tourism will not work in the long—term. covid—i9 must have taught us we have to be able to grow our own food, harvest our own fish in the region, we have to have a balanced approach. ashley? thank you for the question again ranako. i agree with you, mr minister. we really need to look at a diversification of our economies. as it relates to barbados, we are heavily dependent on tourism. and when we are speaking to tourists, i think what we should do is we should look to invest more in eco—friendly activities
for our tourists when they come to barbados, so continue to build that resilience as it relates to our economy, to reduce their carbon footprints when they come, when our tourists come to barbados. you are being very polite to your minister here. laughs. i mean what you really want to say to him is "minister, is our tourism sustainable enough?" is that right or not? correct. minister. we have had a model of tourism that worked for us. make no mistake about it, it worked for us. but the world is changing, as we have to change with it. but has it worked for your environment? i don't think tourism is what destroyed our environment. in fact i would say to you, we have now in the recent past been working to make sure that our tourism product is a lot more sustainable. what we do need to have, and i agree, is some diversification. and i don't think we need to diversify to offer more tourism.
i think that tourism is not going to be that thing that saves barbados anymore. even if you have eco—friendly tourism you are still trying to cater to tourists. i think we have to diversify in the real sense to offer a different product. we have to grow our own food so we can consume our own food, to sell our own food... ashley, we will come back to you here on sustainable tourism. although we are speaking about the diversification of our economy, we still have to remember that barbados is heavily reliant on our tourism sector. so when we're speaking to the diversification of our economies, we have to look at, as a young person we have to look at those jobs in which we can get, those newjobs we can get from the tourism sector when we are thinking about creating those eco—friendly and sustainable practices. but still, we have to look at a way that our tourism product can remain sustainable, because oftentimes our country is considered the land of sun, sea and sand, so capitalising on those three characteristics, i believe that barbados can become the first eco—tourism country within the caribbean. all right, let's get
to our next question, and that's from jaleesa crichlow—augustine. hi everyone. my question is, givenl the impact of covid—19 on the tourism sector, - we can't only rely on tourism. so what are the plans - for diversifying our economy, for example fortifying - agriculture to make it more profitable, more sustainable and more attractive, - especially to young people? ashley, can you make agriculture interesting, attractive for young people like yourself? i believe we can, and that goes back to our educational system. i believe within our school system, from the primary schools here in barbados, we should be looking at teaching our young persons how to plant more of what they consume, and it goes back to the level of sensitisation and awareness and the education process to our young persons. so i really believe that agriculture, as it relates to the diversification of our economy, can play a major role as it relates to the diversification of our economy.
it is a big problem for barbados, isn't it, that 80% of the food consumed in barbados has to come from outside. so can you make agriculture attractive to young people? absolutely. i think the reality is that agriculture is — again we are thinking in the old way. we have to reframe our thinking. we need to do vertical farming, bring technology into farming, bring new methodologies into farming. things that young people are naturally drawn to. when people think of agriculture they are thinking of a fork and hoe and digging hard ground that is not very fertile. we are in another place, we are in another space. we are thinking of vertical farming, using greenhouses more effectively. we are also recoginising that another area to diversify in would be medicinal marijuana, it is an opportunity for a number of locals
in the region to be able generate revenue, many in an area where they have tremendous expertise. and then to use that revenue to help countries in the caribbean region. i also think we have to realise that we have to think sustainably, even as we discuss agriculture. we have been using a lot of products that have been given to us from outside, developed countries, containing significant amounts of disastrous nutrients, nitrogens, phosphates and chemicals that have penetrated our ground and remain in the environment for a number of years. so when we are thinking sustainably, again i make the point, these cannot be ad hoc responses, we have to be able to look at these things and think scientifically, and there are a number of young people who are now thinking so differently about this, and this space in relation to agriculture. and we make agriculture sexy? i definitely think so. 0k let's go to our next question. roland waithe, your question please? we have earmarked a date - for a complete green economy. how do we make that giant leap from the moneymaking fossil i industries to renewable sources of energy? - alright, let's come to you ashley, because the government says it wants to be carbon neutral by 2030 and it was to
be fossil free in transport and electricity by 2030. so, what is your response to roland? yeah, you know, some persons would say that it is a very ambitious move, but i honestly believe that ambition in this sense is a good thing, because as a small island developing state we need to set that precedent on the international stage. to see that transformation from larger developing nations, to actually take the step in that right direction because we are so prone to these natural disasters and these climatic events. so i love the idea of barbados becoming fossil free by the year 2030, and the level
of ambition by our government needs to be commended, especially coming from a small island developing state. so what i would love to see is that bigger nation—states take these same ambitious steps in building their climate resilience and adaptation and mitigation processes. so you like the target, do you — when you say it's ambitious, are you saying that it's not achievable? well, i don't think it's achievable in the timeframe that was set. minister kirk humphrey. well, to answer your questions specifically, i don't think we have a choice. you know, to — to be straight with you, we do not have a choice. and the reality is that this is an existential threat for the caribbean. either we do this, or we don't do this — either we survive, or we don't survive. it's as simple as that, for me. and i will begin where ashley started. and the reality, again, is that, even if we do all these things — if we attempt every effort at mitigation, if we do everything at adaptation, if we do everything at resilience — if the bigger nations of the world do not start to play their part
as well, with all our effort, we still will not be doing enough. the reality, again, is that many people seem to think that we have all the time in the world. when we made the agreements at the paris agreement in 2015, i believe people though "oh, 2050 is very far — 35 years," you know, it's a long time to complete it. the truth is that now we find ourselves faced with a situation where we have to act big. we have to act now. we have to act urgently. but are you acting big? absolutely. i mean — renewable sources of energy, solar, for instance could be big here. absolutely barbados is acting big. we're thinking big, we're speaking big, and we're acting big. in what way? i'll tell you now. the caribbean is also thinking big, acting big, and speaking big. when we set out to have, first of all, renewable energy in the region, many people said "oh, you — you're not going to be able to do it." barbados, for example, as one of the islands in the region, we have the most electronic
vehicles on the road of any nation in the caribbean. the caribbean has a significantly higher percentage than many other developing nations. we've been using solar before many other people were using solar. we had an opportunity to expand on it, and now we are. for example, if you were to pass any fish market in barbados, if you pass many other areas and across the region, what you would see are a number of photovoltaics on the roof, because we realised we need now to be able to fuel our own energy from renewable sources. so will you achieve this target by 2030? carbon neutral. the question for me is not whether i achieve it or not. the question for me is do we commit every single day to being fossil fuel free? do we commit every single day to reducing greenhouse gases? that is the commitment from barbados. next question, sheena frederick. your question? hi. goodnight. does barbados and the region have the physical space - to fashion a greener economy? i believe this would - contribute to resilience and sustainability in our — in our country. _ thank you. minister, so, there are people in developing countries that say "look, the richer nations, who are the bigger polluters, need to step up to the plate
and provide some funding for countries like barbados. " is the money coming? not the way that it should. finance is going to be big problem. again, there were many commitments made, and we have not seen those commitments. i think at cop 26 there's going to be — and i want to begin again by thanking the honourable alok sharma, because he is working very steadfastly. that's the british official, politician in charge of cop 26. yeah. who will the president going forward. we hope, for example, he is putting financing on the agenda, mitigation, adaptation. he's put loss and damage — these are real conversations for the caribbean. yeah. we as — we experience all these things in meaningful ways. but i'm concerned, of course, as anybody is, about the commitments that were made that weren't kept. alright, yeah, i mean, alok sharma has said that the climate fund has not received enough money to date. ashley? i would love to see that sense of unity from our small island developing nations when they go to activities such as cop 26 whereby they demand what i call "environmental reparations" because what those 620 nations are doing to us as a small
island developing states is an injustice because we're so vulnerable to the climatic events. so i think we need to band together to really see that difference and bridge that gap as it relates to the adaptation and mitigation funding. minister, i have a question to you based on what you said. do you think it can be done, with our coral reef system being so heavily damaged at the moment, as it relates to the physical space? absolutely. i think one of the things we have to do, and we've been doing, is replenishing the coral stock in the region. that's why you see all the islands in the region looking to replenish the coral. there's a coral restoration programme in every single island in the caribbean. right. so i believe the corals — the coral�*s not going to be an issue. next question, please, from penny highnam. balancing the insistent i economic demands of the
government with the critical needs of the island - environment is a toughjob. we've here that — everything . you've said tonight shows that. can we manage to speak with one voice across the caribbean, - as we're all in the same boat, and can you provide the - leadership that's needed here? we can and we have. i don't think the question is speaking — and i don't want anyone in this room to walk away thinking that the caribbean hasn't been speaking as one voice, or that small island states have not been speaking as one voice. it would not be true. we have been for some time. the question is nobody�*s listening. the prime minister often makes the point that they see us as invisible, or they don't see us, and dispensable. so we have to speak, perhaps, in a louder voice. we have to take charge at all these meetings we go to. but i don't want to blame the victim in this scenario. it's not that we're not speaking and it is not that we're not speaking in one voice. because we have been. alright. ashley, do you agree with that? well, i think it's time that these larger nationstates respond to us now and give us that sense of unity. we need to see those proactive measures being taken
from developing nations because we are on the front lines of climate change. every day a young person is affected. a person is dying, as we're — persons are dying from climatic effects. so we really need — you spoke about the unity, but we really need to see that action being taken from those larger developing nations. but are you happy with what your own governments are doing? are they providing the leadership that's needed, as penny asked? yeah, i think that our — i think our government is providing good leadership. a quick response from you, penny. i'm afraid i don't think- you all are moving fast enough. 0h, right. we're running out of time. we are — look at what| has happened in 2021. i mean, the world is rapidly- showing huge effects of climate change, and we don't have time to discuss whether we - are leaving or not. we need to go forward as hard as we can. - penny, i agree with you entirely. and i'm saying that cop 26 provides the opportunity. but do not think because small island developing — we are the ones on the frontline. we are dealing — we are the ones facing the ocean as a fence. yeah. we've done nothing to cause this discontent. it is not us.
no matter what we do — unless the developed nations of the world start making changes, then we will continue to face this event. that is why i think we need to speak truth to power. you've done today. thank you very much. let's go to our final question. tristan downs, what do you want to ask, please? my question is what advice - would you give to young people to lead future research and development - on climate change? ashley? well, thank you for that question, tristan. i think when it comes to climate change and climate negotiations, more capacity—building needs to be place on that, as young persons. and i would really love to see that more young persons are involved in the climate negotiations processes when it comes to cop 26 and i think when it comes to building that resilience as well, we really need to provide our young persons with the data to conduct the research and to be really engaged in the governmental processes regarding climate change. so minister, i would really love to see a youth desk being implemented within our government.
and i think that our government should look to focus on a barbados youth climate action team whereby us, as young persons, are engaging with you guys to really get that research and data — which you're speaking — to really build on our advocacy and communication with other young persons. alright, minister kirk humphrey? i want to make the point, you know, i think in terms of real change, the young people who are changing the world aren't waiting for the government. maria's not sitting down waiting for the government. all the brilliant young people across the world, they are not waiting for the government. my advice would be do not wait for the government. you know, i think we have to keep the governments all over the region on their toes. and sometimes when you're brought inside the belly of the beast, you don't get to make the changes you would like. i think you have to find a way to be activists, you have to hold hands to a certain extent, but do not wait on the government.
that is my genuine advice to you, because i believe there is a lot to be done. and we are speaking to who are five and who are six — i mean, they're not getting involved in government agencies, but i want them to think differently, so when they get to that age. audio failure. us as young persons, we're not waiting on the governments, because we see that every day that climate change is affecting us. what i would like to see is that governments stop using us as young persons as tokens and to really have us be meaningfully engaged in the climate change activities and negotiations, because — iformed the hey campaign because experiencing first—hand the climatic events, that we have a global network of young persons, all coming together as one to take that proactive step to actually see change within their countries. so i don't think that young persons are waiting on our governments. i never said that they're all waiting on governments. the government has a very open door policy to young people. we want to see more young people engaged, we want to see
young people making decisive actions and making decisive steps. it would be, i think, completely misleading to think that anybody in this government, and certainly most regional governments, are using young people as tokens. but i also think — i make the point very strongly — that young people have also to take up the mantle and do their own thing. when maria started making change, maria didn't wait on the government. maria got international acclaim some very strong points. if you want to hold the government accountable, you going to need to be inside the government to be able to do it. alright. that's my point. alright. minister kirk humphrey, ashley lashley, thank you both very much indeed. that's all from this edition global questions — climate in the caribbean. thank you to my two panellists and my audience here in bridgetown, barbados, outside the george washington house. from me, zeinab badawi, and the rest of the global questions team, till next time, goodbye.
hello there. we're looking at a pretty benign week of weather. we've got high—pressure fairly nearby, but a lot of cloud streaming in off the north atlantic, bringing us rather cool and cloudy conditions throughout the week. a little bit of sunshine here and there, but there will also be some patchy rain, too. these weather fronts bringing the patchy rain through this morning. generally, though, we've got this airflow coming in from the north atlantic, and it's moisture—laden air, hence all the cloud. so, rather grey skies this morning, that patchy rain eventually clearing away from the eastern side of england. there will be further patchy rain for northern and western hills, but many places will turn drier, and we could see some sunshine breaking through eastern scotland, eastern england, perhaps across south wales and the southwest. a breezy day to come, those winds quite fresh from the northwest, and temperatures pretty disappointing for mid—august, generally 15—21 degrees
in the sunnier spots further south. and we hold onto the cloud and the breeze through tuesday night, as well. most places will be dry, further spots of drizzle, though, across some western hills, especially, especially northern and western scotland. but with all the cloud cover and the breeze, temperatures no lower than around 11—15 degrees. so then, for wednesday, very little change — it looks similar, rather grey and breezy once again, further patchy drizzle across some northern and western hills. but again, with some shelter from the breeze, from the higher ground further west, we should see some sunny spells, again, eastern england, perhaps across the south of wales and southwest. again, that pushes temperatures up to 21 degrees — otherwise for most, mid—to—high teens. into thursday, some subtle changes. this weather front�*s a bit more active, it'll start to wriggle into parts of england and wales. the winds will be lighter on thursday, too, coming in from a more west—southwest direction.
again, a lot of cloud around, but we'll have these showers pushing into england and wales — thanks to that weather front, some of these could be on the heavy side. a bit of sunshine again towards the southwest, highs of 20—21 degrees, otherwise, again, mid—to—high teens. as we move out of thursday into friday, we start to see this more substantial area of low pressure sweeping up very slowly from the southwest. so, that'll change the wind direction to a south—westerly for many of us, it will be light with breeze. again, quite a bit of cloud around, a few sunny spells here and there, the more substantial rain pushing into northern ireland and later, western england and wales. and again, those temperatures range from 15—20 celsius.
shah welcome to bbc news, i'm david shah eades. our top stories. the defiance of an american president — joe biden stands by the us pullout from afghanistan, but accepts the speed of the taliban's takeover caught them by surprise. i stand squarely behind my decision. after 20 years, i've learned the hard way that there was never a good time to withdraw us forces. desperate and chaotic scenes at kabul airport — people cling to moving planes in their attempt to flee the country. taliban militants patrol the streets of kabul — how repressive will they be as the regime takes root? more than 1,400 people are known to have died in haiti's earthquake —