Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 09, 2021 (SKNIS): Climate change is not a future threat we can delay a response to, but a present crisis that requires bold and quick action. As such, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Environment and Co-operatives, the Honourable Eric Evelyn has called on world leaders and all parties concerned to play their part as the time for climate action is now.
Minister Evelyn was at the time delivering his ministerial speech for the High Level session at the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) on Tuesday, November 09 in Glasgow, Scotland.
“Today, the delegation of St. Kitts Nevis comes with one simple message, the time for action is now! We are here at a time when the entire world is languishing from the horrors of climate change including sea level rise, extreme weather events, and dramatic changes in rainfall patterns. We are here at a time when coastal towns and villages and even entire islands face destruction; at a time when lives and livelihoods are at stake, all undoubtedly attributed to human interference. Yet, enough action is not being taken to remedy this situation that worsens with every second that the clock ticks,” said Minister Evelyn. “We cannot wait another day, week, month, or year, we need action NOW. The world is a global village and the decisions you make in the United States affect us in the Caribbean; the decisions that you make in China, Canada and the United Kingdom affect the little girl and boy in the Pacific. The world is depending on us at COP26 so let us not disappoint. I implore us all to solemnly pledge to save ourselves from extinction,” he added.
Minister Evelyn indicated St. Kitts and Nevis’ position on climate change adding that the Federation is committed to playing its part.
“Climate change is real and St. Kitts and Nevis has launched during COP26 a more significantly ambitious Revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) proposing to reduce emissions by 61 percent by 2030 compared to 2010 levels,” he said.
“Our revised NDC is an example of the leadership displayed by most vulnerable countries, in particular us in the Caribbean and other Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), as we continue to demonstrate leadership despite only being responsible for seven (7) percent of global Greenhouse Gas emissions. We suffer the most from a problem that we did not create. Yet we are deprived of much needed climate finance for loss and damage, mitigation and adaptation efforts. This, Mr. President, is unacceptable and it has to change. Developed countries and large emitters must recognize the need to improve access to finance, scale up climate finance and make finance flows consistent with the Paris Agreement. We need climate justice,” Minister Evelyn added.
An important point raised during the high level session was the construction of the largest solar farm in the Caribbean.
“St. Kitts and Nevis will heavily invest in renewable energy with plans for a 35 Megawatt solar farm to be operational in two years and we continue to aggressively pursue geothermal power,” said the environment minister. “Climate friendly policies will enable us to advance initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. Our efforts have been complemented by the friendship of the Republic of China (Taiwan). Taiwan has demonstrated its commitment to the climate dilemma by enacting appropriate legislation and announcing an ambitious NDC including achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”
On that note, Minister Evelyn made a plea for Taiwan to be given a seat at the highest table, especially as they continue to perform exceptionally well in areas such as health, the environment, agriculture and technology to name a few.