Cop27, portrait of Mia Mottley: the prime minister of Barbados is the champion of the southern hemisphere

The first female leader of the small Caribbean state cites Bob Marley and Nelson Mandela to attack the oil majors and ask for international finance reform. The target? Ensure fair compensation for the damage caused by climate change in the poorest countries

  mia-mottley-cop27 Mia Mottley, 57, first female leader of Barbados Photo

She was the most awaited speaker of the United Nations Conference on climate (Cop27) underway in the Egyptian town of Sharm-el Sheikh, and she did not disappoint her fans: the premier of the island of Barbados, Mia Mottley, showed off her usual repertoire, quoting Bob Marley and Nelson Mandela, to attack gas and oil multinationals and ask them for compensation for the damages caused by extreme events induced by climate change - Photo

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ELECTED AND RECONFIRMED – 57 years old, first female leader of the small Caribbean state, elected for the first time in 2018 and then reconfirmed last January, Mottley comes from a family of politicians — her grandfather was mayor of the capital of Barbados, Bridgetown, and her father an MP — and she has come to the fore in recent years as a champion of the least, and champion of the rights of the southern hemisphere. One of her first government acts was the restoration of free higher education, after which she switched to programs to protect the island's biodiversity. Time magazine has included her among the hundred most influential people on the planet in terms of climate and environmental protection, and she does not miss an international appointment to renew her call for climate justice. 'We believe that oil and gas companies and those who facilitate them should be involved through a special call from now to COP28 (the next climate conference to be held in Dubai in a year, ed.),' Mottley said in front of the audience. of Sharm El Sheikh. “How can companies that make $200 billion in profits in three months not expect to have to contribute at least ten cents of every dollar of profit to the loss and damage fund? This is what our people expect.'

'WE ARE NEIGHBOURS' – «If we are neighbours», continued the prime minister, who studied law at the London School of Economics, «and I continue to pollute your house, and you are forced to go into debt to clean and be able to live, I have to compensate your expenses. If the climate were a matter of private law it would be a problem already solved, at least from a financial point of view. But in international law these instruments do not exist. There is only the multilateral process.' “We have the collective ability to transform and we must do so to stay alive. We are in the country that built the pyramids, we know what it means to remove slavery from our civilization, we know how to find a vaccine in two years, we know how to go to the moon or send rovers to Mars. We know that it can be done and simple political will is needed to succeed, a will that must come from the North of the world” given that the “global South remains at its mercy”, added the premier, who is already indicated as a possible candidate to lead the 'un.

BOB MARLEY AND NELSON MANDELA – «Let's stand up and fight for our rights», repeated Mottley, evoking Bob Marley's «Get Up, Stand up» while calling for a reform of the international financial system and its institutions. And between a proposal for reform of the International Monetary Fund, and other financial technicalities to ensure a just compensation for the losses and damages suffered by the countries of the South of the world due to the climate crisis, there was also a quote to Nelson Mandela, and to the dilemma he faced when he became president after his long imprisonment: «Revenge or build a state? He chose to keep the country united. He chose good over evil.' The good today for the North of the world would be «choosing to save the Earth».