St. Kitts and Nevis addresses the UN Climate Change Conference in Poland

BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, NOVEMBER 22ND 2013 (CUOPM) – St. Kitts and Nevis says climate change is the greatest global challenge of this time in the twin-island Federation.

“It is of significant concern to us that while we continue to negotiate a global agreement, emissions continue to rise to record levels. St. Kitts and Nevis joins other small island developing states, in calling for urgent and ambitious action,” said His Excellency Delano Bart, St. Kitts and Nevis’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations to the High Level Segment of the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 19 and CMP 9 in Warsaw, Poland.

He told delegates that St. Kitts and Nevis numbers among those most vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

“We have a population of fewer than 50,000 people and a landmass of 105 square miles, with the majority of settlements based on the coasts. We are particularly concerned about the present and future implications for health, infrastructure, water security, and food and nutrition security,” said Ambassador Bart.

He pointed out that the Assembly received yet another important report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

“The Physical Science Basis Report” underscores the gravity of the challenges faced. It declares: ‘Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Mr. President, there is a clear understanding that the stakes have risen and that the global community needs to pool its collective will to galvanize the necessary action to address this challenge. It is also clear to us that the solution rests in multilateralism. Our effectiveness here in the UNFCCC process is a true test of its continued validity. I say to you, as states, we all have a role to play,” said Ambassador Bart.

He told delegates that the World was at a critical point in these negotiations.

“It is evident that the will of a number of parties is diminishing. I can confidently declare that this is not the case for St. Kitts and Nevis, and other forward looking parties. Extensive work remains to be done in creating a clear, balanced and feasible path to achieving a legally binding agreement in 2015. We need to increase ambition and scale up financing,” said the St. Kitts and Nevis diplomat.

He issued an appeal for the urgent operationalisation and capitalisation of the Green Climate Fund and said that financing for the Adaptation Fund must also be addressed.

“Progress in these areas, will greatly contribute towards important support for adaptation and mitigation actions into the future,” said Ambassador Bart.

He also called for support of the AOSIS proposal under ADP Workstream 2, as it represents an important tool in urgently addressing the pre-2020 mitigation ambitions gap, with initial focus on energy efficiency and renewable energy.

“Parties should rise to the occasion to advance the issue of Loss and Damage. This relates to the effects of climate change that cannot be addressed through adaptation or mitigation. The mandate we received in Doha must not be ignored. Let us move forward in addressing the institutional arrangements and financial support,” said Ambassador Bart, who added:

“Mr. President, we call for successful outcomes on these issues here in Warsaw. We have too much at stake. The survival of the way of life, livelihoods, prospects and progress of our peoples, and future generations depend on us. Let us not fail where it is essential for us to succeed.”

Ambassador Bart told the Poland meeting that St. Kitts and Nevis associates itself with the statements made by Fiji on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, and the Republic of Nauru, on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.

“Mr. President, another COP has been marked with the tragedy of natural disaster. The Federation extends sincere sympathy to the people of the Philippines, Palau, Micronesia and other countries that have been affected by the extreme impacts of Typhoon Haiyan. This event has helped to put into context the importance of the task at hand here in Warsaw,” he said.

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