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15 Nov 2022

Victoria Seabrook, Sky News

COP27: Antigua's PM warns people don't want to become climate refugees

"COP27: Antigua's PM asks 'Why should we live somewhere else?' as he says his people don't want to become climate refugees", 14 November 2022

The leader of Antigua and Barbuda has said he will not allow his people to become climate refugees, in an indignant rebuff to the idea some citizens might have to relocate as climate breakdown bites.

"Why should we, [live somewhere else]?"...

The Caribbean leader added: "That is our civilisation. That is where we have lived for hundreds of years." ...

Commonwealth nation Antigua and Barbuda is also low-lying, but its prime minister said drought was hitting hard. The country must now generate all its drinking water via energy-intensive reverse osmosis, making agriculture unviable and forcing it to import 90% of its food.

"We will certainly not consider any option of relocation. We do not expect to become climate refugees in anyone's country," he said. The prime minister vowed to fight "unrelentingly for global emissions to be reduced", to preserve the country's environment and "civilisation"... In an interview during his visit to Sharm el-Sheikh, Mr Browne also warned that multilateral climate action is failing to protect the planet with anything like the urgency needed...

Today, as the second week of COP27 got underway, two options emerged in a draft document. While vulnerable nations want a dedicated fund, developed countries say there are already many funding options and institutions available that can be tweaked and improved.

They argue this could be more efficient than agreeing another dedicated fund, but the idea simply does not wash with many vulnerable countries who say they are fed up of relying on voluntary and vague measures.