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Minister Hamilton was at the time chairing the CARICOM Regional Preparatory Meeting in advance of Conference of Parties 25 (COP25) on Friday, October 18 at the St. Kitts Marriott Resort. The event was attended by 30-plus participants from the Caribbean region.
“I would like to encourage all of us here today to continue to place science at the forefront of all our efforts and positions for this upcoming Conference. The science is clear, compelling and not negotiable. It has inspired countless movements around the world in support of more stringent climate action by governments, businesses and all other actors. It is our duty and responsibility to continue to insist that it take its rightful place in the context of our political discussions,” said Minister Hamilton.
“I also understand that this upcoming Conference will be key in maintaining the focus on securing improved National Determined Contributions (NDCs) next year, as a first step, in line with accelerated climate action required to stay within the 1.5 degrees Celsius limit for global warming. We need to remain focused on this objective. Our discussions today should be situated firmly within this context,” the environment minister added.
NDCs outline the intended efforts of each country signatory to the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in particular their efforts to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Prime Minister Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris signed the Paris Agreement on behalf of the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis on Earth Day in April 2016.
Minister Hamilton used the occasion to note that “Even though our contribution to overall global greenhouse gas emissions is negligible, St. Kitts and Nevis has submitted an NDC under the Paris Agreement, which proposes to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 22 and 35 percent by 2025 and 2030 respectively.
Minister Hamilton said that the issue of climate change is a very real issue for Small Island Developing States (SIDS).
“Climate change has long been a priority issue for the region, with good cause, given our well-established vulnerability to climate change impacts. Nevertheless, as our countries confront the increasingly costly, unpredictable, and deadly impacts of climate change, this issue is taking on a more pronounced role in the daily lives of our people,” he said.
Friday’s meeting provided the participants, who hailed from Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Bahamas, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad & Tobago, and host country St. Kitts and Nevis, an opportunity to prepare for COP25, as well as develop recommended CARICOM positions for those agenda items expected to require Ministerial engagement at COP25.