Basseterre, St. Kitts, December 03, 2015 (SKNIS): In his national speech before some 154 heads of state and governments at the 2015 Climate Change Conference (COP21) in Paris, Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris praised the Republic of China (Taiwan) for its strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
In the opening day of a two-day COP21 high-level conference aimed at producing the first global climate accord in over 20 years, Prime Minister Harris stressed the contribution made by a small island developing state like St. Kitts and Nevis in reducing its emissions footprint by investing in solar and wind farms, and also embarking on an exploratory assessment of its potential geothermal capacity on the islands.
However, stated the Prime Minister “Much of this would not be possible without one of our development partners – the Republic of China (Taiwan)”.
He went on say that “The Federation welcomes the completion of the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions by the Republic of China (Taiwan) which is laudable as it is not a party to the Convention. The Republic of China (Taiwan) has not only assisted our Federation, which is on the other side of the globe, but at home critical work is being done to contribute to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The Prime Minister urged the United Nations (UN) and signatory Member States to integrate the Republic of China on Taiwan into the climate change negotiation process
“They should be considered, at the least, to become an observer to the Convention’, he said.
The added value of the ROC (Taiwan’s) contribution to these renewables on St. Kitts and Nevis “will have a significant impact on our energy consumption patterns and reliance on fossil fuels.”
While in Paris for the COP21 conference, the Prime Minister attended a luncheon hosted by His Excellency Mr. Zhang, the Representative of the Government of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in France. He was accompanied by Hon. Ian Liburd, Minister of Transport and Energy, and Dr. David P. Doyle, Ambassador for St. Kitts and Nevis to UNESCO.
The Prime Minister seized the occasion to underline his appreciation on behalf of the citizens of St. Kitts and Nevis for the long-standing technical assistance provided by the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Federation. He cited as an example the two countries’ more than 30 years of close cooperation in agriculture, which have included achievements such as the introduction of new varieties of fruits to St. Kitts and Nevis and improvements in the quality of its agricultural products.
Bilateral cooperation, in particular, had embraced renewable energy, he said, underlining that a Taiwanese company has provided solar energy to St. Kitts and Nevis.
“We are grateful for this area of cooperation,” the Prime Minister concluded.