PRESS RELEASE – Saint Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development, Hon. James Fletcher, addressed the United Nations Climate Summit 2014 at UN Headquarters in New York on Tuesday 23rd September, 2014 and called for decisive action and bold mitigation pledges from world leaders to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.
Saint Lucia’s Minister told the historic and unprecedented gathering of world leaders on Climate Change that Saint Lucia, like other Small Island Developing States (SIDS), was living on “the frontline of climate change” and was already seeing the climate casualties starting to mount.
Dr. Fletcher said for countries like Saint Lucia “this is not merely about degrees Celsius, parts per million of CO2, or the number of hottest years since 1880; it is about lives lost in severe weather events, livelihoods impacted by declining fisheries and prolonged droughts, infrastructure damaged by raging floods, coral reefs destroyed by warmer and more acidic oceans, and coastlines lost to rising seas”.
Hon. James Fletcher informed the Climate Summit that although Saint Lucia was an insignificant contributor to the global volume of greenhouse gases, it was meeting its international mitigation obligations by embarking on a low-carbon pathway that involved the gradual transition away from diesel for the generation of electricity.
He indicated that while his Government had publicly committed to 35% of renewable energy by the year 2020, it was on a pathway to an eventual 80% reduction in the use of diesel for electricity generation.
During his brief visit to New York to participate in the Climate Summit, Saint Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development also took part in a European Union-hosted ministerial meeting on Climate Change and met with the United States Special Envoy on Climate Change to seek to develop consensus on key decisions leading to the 20th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), scheduled for December in Lima,