Saint Lucia’s Minister for Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology James Fletcher addressed the high level segment of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change today and called on the international community to take meaningful action to help save Small Island Developing States (SIDS) like Saint Lucia from the dangers of man-made climate change.
In his address, Dr. Fletcher stated that while Saint Lucia and other developing countries were taking steps to reduce their reliance on the fossil fuels that contribute to global warming, they “could not be inspired by developed (Annex 1) countries that dodged their historical responsibility, even while they tried to impose binding obligations on developing countries”, or even more perplexingly, developed countries that were now seeking to “back-pedal on their existing emission reduction commitments”.
Dr Fletcher identified loss and damage as an issue of serious importance for Saint Lucia and SIDS and urged the conference to arrive at a satisfactory outcome to assist communities and economies that are trying to cope with losses from climate change to which they have little or no capacity to respond.
He also spoke on the critical issue of climate financing and made a strong case for operational, fully capitalised financial facilities to help SIDS, which are already burdened by high debt and low growth, undertake the necessary climate change adaptation and mitigation activities.
Dr. Fletcher ended his address by informing the meeting that the global community had two choices in front of it — to continue to hesitate and delay while countries like Saint Lucia remained on a perilous path of stronger storms, prolonged droughts and devastated ecosystems, or to take concrete actions and make meaningful commitments that would lead to a brighter, promising and more sustainable future.
Prior to addressing the high level segment, Dr Fletcher, together with a small group of his colleague ministers from the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), held a private meeting with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to discuss the most critical issues of concern to the grouping of vulnerable small developing countries.