Saint Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Senator Hon. Dr. James Fletcher, on Wednesday addressed the Ministerial High Level Segment of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), currently taking place in Doha, Qatar.
In his address, Dr. Fletcher informed the international meeting that while for some people, climate change is a subject for academic debate or scientific analysis, for the people of Saint Lucia and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) it is a reality that is faced every day.
He stated that while his government was playing its part to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change, this was diverting scarce resources, in a period of economic downturn, away from many core economic and social development imperatives.
For that reason, Hon. James Fletcher issued a strong call to the industrialized nations that historically were responsible for climate change to take steps to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions and make good on their pledges of assistance to developing countries to address climate change effects.
Saint Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development called on the Doha meeting to amend the Kyoto Protocol to deliver a five-year second commitment period that is ambitious and free of conditionalities. He stressed the importance of an international mechanism to deal with slow-onset impacts of climate change, like sea level rise and ocean acidification. He also reiterated the need for mitigation pledges that capped the increase in global temperatures at the 1.5oC goal of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
Dr. Fletcher concluded his address by reminding the meeting that the role of the Climate Change Convention is to provide leadership on a global strategic response to minimize and address loss and damage from the impacts of climate change and he asked that Doha be remembered as the place where promises and pledges were turned into concrete, urgent and meaningful actions that made a positive difference in the lives of millions of people in Small Island Developing States.