There is certainly room on the global stage for another climate hero. Barbados Prime Minister, Mia Mottley is a woman of color who brings a dazzling amount of experience, courage and innovation to the fight. Mia Mottley won her country’s highest office by a landslide in 2018. Since then, she has been “leading the charge against an international financial system that puts more people at risk each year as the climate crisis deepens.”
UNEP Champion of the Earth
Selected by UN Environment Programme as this 2021’s Champion of the Earth for Policy Leadership, Mottley has spent years campaigning against pollution, climate change, and deforestation. Thus, turning Barbados into a frontrunner in the global environmental movement. “Prime Minister Mottley has been a champion for those who are most vulnerable to the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity and nature loss, and pollution and waste” said Inger Andersen, the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). “Her passionate advocacy and policy achievements are prime examples of how world leaders can take bold, urgent action on environmental issues.”
According to the UN’s climate change arm, it is estimated that “to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, economies will need to spend around $125 trillion in coming decades to phase out fossil fuels while scaling up alternatives. Other estimates peg it higher, with Bloomberg NEF estimating almost $200 trillion over that period. To find the cash, Mottley says major reforms are required.” Where that money will come from is a question hanging, some would say like a guillotine blade, over the success of humanity’s efforts.
Generating Funding for Climate Resilient Measures
The Bridgetown Initiative which was formulated by 20 less developed countries and spearheaded by Barbados and Mottley, contains various ideas for generating the needed funds such as the idea of imposing a small (perhaps as little as 0.01%) tax on each and every financial transaction are decades old (“in the early 1970s, Nobel-winning economist James Tobin proposed a tax on transactions — now called a Tobin tax”).
In Mia Mottley there are perhaps echoes of the protagonist Mary Murphy (even the same initials!) from Kim Stanley Robinson’s brilliant 2020 cli-fi novel Ministry for the Future. Let us hope that Mottley is as ultimately successful in the real world as Murphy was in the make-believe one.
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