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UN honours Mottley for climate stance

Regional 16 Dec, 2021 Follow News

Mia Mottley’s profile has risen considerably

Mia Mottley, the Prime Minister of Barbados, has been awarded the United Nation’s highest environmental honour for her work highlighting the threat from rising sea levels to small islands around the world.

Mottley was described as a “driving force for climate action” across Latin America and the Caribbean who has set ambitious environmental targets for her country, including a fossil fuel-free electricity sector by 2030.

Rising temperatures and sea levels are affecting Barbados by shrinking its already-limited water supply, forcing villages to relocate from the coastline, and contaminating existing freshwater reserves with sea water.

The award marks the conclusion of a remarkable period for Mottley who led the ceremonies as Barbados stopped pledging allegiance to the UK’s Queen Elizabeth II and became a republic for the first time in its history two weeks ago.

In recognition of her leadership, Mottley was named as one of the four winners of the award, all women, by the UN’s Environment Programme.

The announcement came after Mottley delivered a stark warning to the UN’s climate change conference in November, telling delegates that a 2ºC rise in global temperatures above pre-industrial levels would be a “death sentence” for nations such as Antigua, the Maldives, Fiji and Barbados.

“We do not want that dreaded death sentence,” she told the conference. “We have come here today to say try harder, try harder.”

She has been a harsh critic of wealthier countries for their failure to pay for the impact of climate change through the scale of their emissions.

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