Saint Lucia
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Global Funding to Assist Region Sustain Climate Resilience


Saint Lucia is poised to benefit from a global funding assistance programme that is geared towards enhancing the country’s climate resilience endeavours.

Notably, under critical review in the region are areas such as the vulnerability index and sustainable financing for regional development.

Minister for Sustainable Development Shawn Edward said the authorities are pleased with the progress being made relating to the overall environmental management portfolio within the government’s work programme.

“We have had a voice for many years now at the negotiating table and we have made our presence felt regionally, hemispherically and even on the global stage as it relates to sustainable development,” stated Edward, as he spoke to reporters at a recent media brief.

In commemoration of Europe Day, the European Union (EU) officially launched its €35-million climate action programme Euroclima in the Caribbean region. Euroclima is the EU’s flagship programme for green action to all 33 countries across Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and will contribute to the implementation of the Global Gateway Investment Agenda in the region.

Citing the Euroclima initiative, the minister explained, it is a programme rolled out by the European Union (EU) collaboratively with countries in the Americas, to basically “bolster our efforts as they relate to mitigation and adaptation against climate change”.

Edward reiterated his stance “that we are living on the edge of climate change and our very existence as nations, as individuals, as people is threatened as a result of climate change”.

Expounding on the existential threats posed by climate change, he noted: “You can see your GDP being completed wiped out in the space of two hours, depending on the nature of the weather system that visits your country.”

Referring to ‘living on the frontline of climate change’ notion, the minister recalled that last year’s deluge in the northern community resulted in extensive damages to property and loss of livelihoods.

He defined the role of scientists on the Inter Government Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as the body, which provides the scientific evidence that climate change “does exist and …is responsible for the weather phenomena that we see from time to time, be it droughts , hurricanes etc.”.

Noting the consequences of greenhouse gas emissions, Edward stated: “What we emit or contribute to greenhouse gas pollution in the global spectrum is negligible, yet we are the ones who face the brunt of the destruction.

“We are saying that there is a moral obligation on the part of the more developed countries to come forward with resources to help us adapt to the changes and to also help us mitigate against the causes of climate change.”

Saint Lucia has played a role in the conversation on climate change, he said, and “we have travelled to almost every corner of the globe …to ensure that we profit the opportunities available to basically tell the world our story and see how much consideration can be given to us.”

Edward declared that it is important to de-mystify the consequential threat that climate change poses, in terms of simplifying that phenomenon to address the concerns and livelihoods of persons such as small farmers who rely on their occupation to care and provide the basic requirements for their families.

The minister adds, “This is how you take the whole concept of climate change from being this global talking point and to have it explained at the lower level of the society.

“So, this is a very serious mandate for us and Saint Lucia will continue to have a voice …to ensure that we can express the difficulties that our people have to put up with on a daily basis.”

Meanwhile, Edward noted that the biggest ‘take away’   for the region at the last COP meeting, in Egypt, was “the establishment or the agreement at COP to establish a Loss and Damage Fund”. He said, since the region suffers tremendous losses from infrastructural damages, it was agreed that the More Developed Countries (MDCs) would establish a fund “in which we can tap (into) to basically   finance our own climate resilience gender”.

Moving along, the minister said, there is quite a lot of work being undertaken behind the scenes, but “it is at COP28 in Dubai, in December we will get the true picture in terms of how much progress has been made.”

He asserted: “As a region we can take solace in knowing that the current Executive Director of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Simon Steele, former Minister for Sustainable Development in Grenada …is the current CEO of the UNFCCC. And I am sure that at all levels, he is able to show some appreciation for the peculiarities of the Caribbean in that much broader discourse.”