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Caribbean hoteliers urge support for Paris climate change agreement

Published:Friday | June 2, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association President Karolin Troubetzkoy.

Caribbean hoteliers Friday reiterated their support for the region’s adoption of the Paris climate change agreement, noting that the Caribbean remains one of the world’s most vulnerable regions to the escalating effects of climate change.

In an apparent reference to the decision of the US government to opt out of the Paris accord, ‎the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA), a federation of 32 private sector-led organisations throughout the Caribbean basin, urged regional countries, businesses and residents to do their part in supporting sound environmental practices.

“We reiterate our previous position to join with the nations throughout the Caribbean in supporting the adoption of the Paris climate change agreement,” CHTA President Karolin Troubetzkoy said in a statement.

“The socio-economic consequences from rising sea levels and temperatures, increasingly violent storms and severe droughts, oil spills, mismanagement of waste, and coral bleaching are having mounting consequences, and left unchecked threaten the very viability of the region’s economies and societies, and the health and welfare of Caribbean people,” she added.

President Donald Trump Thursday announced his decision to remove the United States out of the Paris agreement.

Trump has argued that the US was getting a raw deal from the accord, adding that his country would sacrifice too much while competitors like China and India face less stringent, immediate restrictions.

“The reality is withdrawing is in America’s economic interest and won’t matter much to the climate,” Trump said, adding that the Paris agreement “hamstrings the United States while empowering some of the world’s top polluting countries.”

In their statement, the Caribbean hoteliers noted that countries and businesses throughout the region, particularly tourism-related enterprises, are increasingly adopting policies and practices aimed at preserving, protecting and enhancing the environment.

“This is important to the Caribbean’s own self-interests and also those of the world, with millions of visitors enjoying the incredible natural beauty the region offers,” the CHTA added.

Troubetzkoy said it is therefore vital to ensure that the Caribbean remains a safe, secure and viable partner, benefiting its neighbours and major trading partners.