UNITED NATIONS, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- Bahamian Prime Minister Philip Edward Davis said Saturday that taking climate action is "in the interests of every country."
For a long time, decision-makers in both the public and private sectors believed that climate action must come at the expense of economic growth, but now, many are beginning to understand that climate inaction is the most expensive option of all, he told the General Debate of the UN General Assembly.
"Taking action is not just in the interests of those of us who are particularly vulnerable. It is in the interests of every country. And it is this enlightened self-interest that should motivate action," he said.
Transitioning to clean energy is going to create jobs, increase efficiencies, and improve living standards, he said. "Countries that disagree on many other issues, including important ones, must cooperate on this issue in their own self-interest."
Noting the UN climate change conference in Egypt is roughly 40 days away, he said "let this year be the year we turn talk into action. Let's roll up our sleeves and get to work."
"In meeting the existential challenge posed by the climate crisis, it should be an increasing self-evident truth that none of us can be safe until we are all safe," said Davis.
"We are doing what we can to be stronger and to be more prepared. But no one country, large or small, acting alone can stop climate change, nor can we individually reduce the threat of future pandemics or end the policies and conflicts driving global inflation or tackle global criminal networks. These problems require collective action," he said.
"We will continue to support multilateral efforts to tackle the common challenges of our time," he said.