MIAMI, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Financing from multilateral lenders
such as the IMF will be critical to mitigate the effects of
climate change that pose grave threats to the future of small
island nations, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley said on
Last month, Mottley at the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow
called for $500 billion in annual issuance of Special Drawing
Rights, an IMF currency, to finance a transition to renewable
energy and limit the rise in global temperatures.
Without such financing, small countries would have to borrow
to pay for the mitigation of climate change that has principally
resulted from carbon dioxide emissions in the world's major
nations, Mottley said in an interview at the Reuters Next
conference on Friday.
"The moral position has always been that the polluter must
pay," she said. "Now what's the reality The G20 countries have
contributed 80 percent of greenhouse gases and have contributed
virtually nothing" to help finance mitigation efforts.
The International Monetary Fund did not immediately respond
to a request for comment.
Mottley has in recent months emerged as a voice for island
nations that face the greatest risks from global warming.
Rising temperatures and sea levels are already affecting
Barbados by shrinking its already-limited water supply, forcing
villages to relocate from the coastline, and contaminating
existing freshwater reserves with sea water.
Guaranteed financing for climate adaptation will help limit
temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius above
pre-industrial levels, she said, referring to what scientists
call a threshold for preventing severe effects of climate
"This thing has the ability to undermine our societies
fundamentally and let us find a way, therefore, of adapting to
this new reality," she said. "It will require funding, and we
don't feel that all of the sudden it should come as debt, quite
frankly, because we didn't put ourselves here."
The IMF this year issued $650 billion in Special Drawing
Rights in its largest-ever such allocation as part of its
response to the economic effects of the pandemic.
Mottley has noted that central banks of the world's
wealthiest countries have in the last decade injected $25
trillion into their economies as part of monetary stimulus
efforts known as "quantitative easing."
She has argued that similar amounts should be invested in
adapting to climate change.
"Bottom line is, however, that the time lines that we have
to adapt are not very long," she said. "And therefore we say
let's at least take the funding issue out of it and provide
greater levels of certainty for it."
To watch the ReutersNext conference please register here https://reutersevents.com/events/next/
(Reporting by Brian Ellsworth in Miami
Editing by Matthew Lewis)