Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 01, 2015 (SKNIS): An important call was made by Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris, for all parties present at the United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference in Paris, France, to negotiate and agree on a legally-binding agreement with ambitious emission reduction targets.
“St. Kitts and Nevis recommends that all parties subscribe to at least 5-year commitment cycles with robust ex-ante review and ex-poste assessment processes,” said Dr. Harris. “We also hope that developed country Parties and other Parties in a position to do so, would be encouraged to provide support to vulnerable countries, particularly to Small Island Developing States (SIDS).”
Prime Minister Harris noted that St. Kitts and Nevis, like other SIDS, has been undergoing many climate related changes; namely, sea level rise, extreme weather events, prolonged and severe droughts, and disruption to the reefs, coastlines and agriculture.
“The dangers of climate change are real and present, the threat is existential,” he said. “Mr. President, greenhouse gas emissions from small island states like St. Kitts and Nevis are negligible. Yet our small island states continue to be adversely and disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change.”
Dr. Harris argued that regardless of what is already taking place in St. Kitts and Nevis, measures are in place to reduce the national carbon footprint. He noted that the pursuit of renewable energy solutions is a critical and integral component of the national sustainable development strategy to transform St. Kitts and Nevis into a fully environmentally sustainable small island state.
“Already, my Government is incentivizing behavioral changes through the facilitation of duty free concessions on renewable energy technologies,” he stated. “We are building strategic partnerships with countries and the private sector to develop geothermal, solar and wind energy solutions.”
Prime Minister Harris made special mention of the solar farms in the Federation, as well as the exploration of potential geothermal capacity on the islands. He pointed out that renewable energy such as these will have a significant impact on the country’s energy consumption patterns and reliance on fossil fuels.
The twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) and the eleventh session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11) runs from Monday, November 30, to Friday, December 11, 2015, in Paris, France. During the Paris 2015 UN climate change conference, governments are expected to reach a new and universal climate change agreement.