Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment, the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke, joined fellow regional Climate Ministers in taking the floor at the Commonwealth Environment and Climate Ministers Meeting held in the margins of the recent United Nations High-Level Week to advocate for the challenges faced by small island developing states where financing climate action is concerned.
The Minister further commented on the Federation’s adaptability and survivability in the face of mounting climate-related threats and used the opportunity to highlight the current actions being undertaken by the Government of Saint Kitts and Nevis to address climate change and promote resiliency via the country’s transition to a sustainable island state under the Sustainable Island State Agenda (SISA)
The Minister’s full statement can be read below:
Statement at Commonwealth Environment and Climate Ministers Meeting UNGA Senator the Hon. Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment, Climate Action and Constituency Empowerment
Climate Action and Climate Resilience is a matter of survivability for the people of St. Kitts and Nevis. Our nation is so young we are only 40 years old as of Monday. And it is a crippling reality we face…are we positioned to enjoy another 40 years given the debilitating climate realities we face. As such we stand firm in supporting the ever-expanding conversations around the Commonwealth agenda for climate finance.
A testimony of such is the Government’s intention to push an aggressive and urgent Climate Resilience Agenda for our island nation to Transform into a Sustainable Island State based on the promise to Leave No One Behind as set out in the 2030 Agenda.
The decision to engage in holistic, inclusive, and collaborative policy and legislative transformations where financing is concerned is not one that our country takes lightly. Although, as a small island state, we are often faced with the challenge of determining which aspect of development we should direct finance towards, Saint Kitts and Nevis, at this crossroads, has decided to choose people by choosing the environment.
To this end, the country has maintained the following commitments:
Launching the Sustainable Island State Agenda under the Ministry of Climate Action to accelerate the attainment of the SDGs by 2030
Investing in Climate Smart Housing is the key step toward sustainable cities
Pushing for amplified mitigation methods through inclusive disaster-resilient healthcare infrastructure to manage the frequency and destructiveness of natural disasters.
Committing to just energy transition through development of Geothermal energy resources on the island of Nevis which has the confirmed capacity to power both islands and neighboring countries. This is in line with our NDC targets for decarbonizing energy generation.
Working closely with regional partners in solarizing our public sector.
Strategic receipts from investors are directed towards our Sustainable Island State Agenda which commits 250K per investment option.
We believe it is crucial to shift the narrative and conversation around what it means to be a small island state. While it is undeniable that our size equates to increased vulnerability, we recognize this sustainability agenda as a bearer of hope that says to present and future generations that even here on the smallest independent nation in the Western hemisphere, there is humongous possibility.