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Nov 21, 2017

Dr. Carla Barnett Addresses Climate Change in Annual Lecture

Carla Barnett

Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance and Natural Resources, Doctor Carla Barnett, on Thursday delivered the thirty-second Adlith Brown Memorial Lecture as part of the Forty-ninth Annual Monetary Studies Conference held last week. According to the Central Bank, the lecture elaborated on the emerging importance of climate change and its impact on developing nations, like those of the Caribbean region, and encouraged young economists to embrace research opportunities to adequately inform policy making decisions. We have highlights from the lecture courtesy of the Central Bank.

 

Dr. Carla Barnett, Minister of State, Finance and Natural Resources

“Climate change is already bringing increased fiscal burden to small states, through increased fiscal provisions for disaster preparedness. This burden will increase further because the increased cost of economic infrastructure, as road designs, for example, build in provisions for higher ground water levels, and greater water flows as the result of increased rain events. Costs of maintenance also increase. This is the nature of climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the additional fiscal burden that climate changes implies. Our young researchers and scholars – I’m putting it to you: this is where the money is, I mean this literally. The early research is showing that in the next fifty years, we earn, or we don’t earn, by climate change; we exist as functional economies, or we don’t, by climate change; we survive as small states, or we don’t, by climate change. This is not to sensationalize; this is to be rational about the need to study the circumstances of where we are in order to plan for the future. We used to joke about the quote from Keynes that in the long run, we are all dead, but I want to put that quote in its proper perspective. It’s not that we don’t have to worry about long-term planning; indeed the opposite is true. If we don’t plan for the long term from now, when the long term is upon us, we are all dead.”

 

Doctor Adlith Brown was coordinator of the Regional Programme of Monetary Studies, now the Caribbean Centre for Money and Finance, co-sponsor of the Monetary Studies Conference, from 1980 to 1984. Doctor Barnett, a former vice-president of the Caribbean Development Bank and Financial Secretary of Belize, is only the third woman to deliver the lecture in its thirty-two-year history.

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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