WITH THE announcement of a new Ministry of Housing, Urban Renewal, Environment and Climate Change, stakeholders are hoping for a variety of things – from emphasis on food security to effective planning for climate threats that include sea level rise and coastal erosion, together with extreme weather events, as well as threats to water security.
“Dealing with the challenge of COVID is paramount, but we would not want to forget climate. Climate change is not going away because COVID is here. In fact, COVID is exacerbating the vulnerabilities of climate,” said Professor Michael Taylor, a climate scientist and head of the Faculty of Science and Technology at The University of the West Indies.
He insisted that some sort of balance needed to be struck between prioritising the COVID-19 response and continuing the work to safeguard climate resilience.
“COVID-19 gets the priority because of its immediacy and because of its threat to life. It is a difficult time we are in, and trying to negotiate other things does present a challenge for resources. However, we have to learn how to manage both things. I don’t think the answers are very clear yet. We will have to come to grips with both things,” he noted.