United Nations Environmental Program
Commonwealth of The Bahamas
Forest Hills Eastern High School
The carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels has been scientifically proven to exaggerate the greenhouse effect, make climates warmer, cause the sea level to rise, and spark abnormally destructive natural disasters. Coal, oil, and natural gas are soon to run out, and it is clear that the future is renewable energy, not fossil fuels. Clean energy is the 7th of the United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals of 2014, and in order to work towards this goal, the United Nations must begin the implementation of renewable energy.
The Bahamas contributes very little to climate change, only making up 0.01% of total carbon pollution in 2017. Despite this, the Bahamas suffers from extreme effects that are brought on by the pollution of larger, more industrial countries. As described in an article of the United Nations news, Hurricane Dorian ravaged two islands of The Bahamas in 2019, causing 56 deaths and 600 missing persons. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis stated that hurricanes have become worse due to the imbalanced climate brought on by climate change and the use of fossil fuels; The Bahamas, along with other island nations, are at great risk. 100% of Bahamian energy consumption comes from fossil fuels: 76% oil and 26% natural gas. It is difficult to adjust to other energy sources due to low budget and means of execution. However, due to the daunting future presented by the continued use of fossil fuels, The Bahamas has decided to make changes to its energy policies where possible. Because completely discarding fossil fuels is unrealistic, the Bahamas has first turned its focus to improving efficiency and reducing waste in electricity usage. The Bahamas has partnered with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to establish a Bahamas National Energy Policy that put goals in place for energy efficiency and modernization. Also, at the 2014 United Nations Third International Small Island Developing States (SIDS) Conference, The Bahamas signed a treaty called SIDS-DOCK, which helps financially with meeting energy efficiency and renewable energy targets. In the future, The Bahamas hopes to focus on solar energy as the most compatible renewable energy, respectively. Prime Minister Hubert Minnis opened a solar plant facility in March of 2019, and the Bahamian Government plans to eventually install solar water heaters in 30% of houses. The Bahamian Government has also reduced the import tax on solar panels from 42% to 10% to encourage the marketing of solar energy in the country.
The world is facing climate change, ozone layer depletion, natural disasters, and ecosystem destruction. At this time, above all, The Bahamas urges the immediate action of large, industrial nations with the most prominent carbon footprints. The Bahamas hopes that these countries who release the most greenhouse gasses will make the most effort to redesign their energy usage, moving towards the renewable energy that best suits their country. The Bahamas encourages the enlisting of renewable energy companies such as Vestas (wind), or Berkshire Hathaway Energy (solar), to aid in this difficult but necessary transition. For smaller countries with less greenhouse gas emission, The Bahamas recommends a slower approach to renewable energy by starting with efficiency first. The Bahamas hopes to see a resolution placing firm expectations on countries’ greenhouse gas emissions, with a focus on countries with the largest carbon footprints; moreover, The Bahamas expects an agreement by all countries to transition to renewable energy completely by the year 2065.
- Allayna Hight