(Castries, October 28, 2015) If global temperature increases by 2•C or more above pre-industrial levels, an area comparable to the whole of Barbados, Saint-Vincent and the Grenadines, Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda combined, will disappear in the Caribbean by the end of this century. This would be disastrous for the region and other small island developing states. For a fair chance to stay alive, climate justice activists say the world must agree on a 1.5•C max rise.
On Saturday October 24, 2015, a group of activists gathered at the CDF conference room in Castries to discuss implementation of the 1point5 to Stay Alive climate justice campaign. The campaign is designed to create public participation in and support for the Caribbean’s negotiating position at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference. COP21 is the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties since the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The meeting of negotiators for governments of all nations from 30 November to 11 December, decides if global temperature should continue to rise, and by how many degrees.
At risk of losing 1300 sq. kilometer of land, the 1point5 to Stay Alive campaign must be an urgent call to action for all people of the Caribbean, says the local climate change action group. Comprising media persons, artists and youth, the group discussed activities for implementation before the December meeting. These may include a public event concurrent with the November 29 global climate march, HeadPhunk spoken word concerts and a photograph and art exhibition. Artists have already begun work in different genres to initiate a strong public response.
A major part of raising awareness has already begun via a social media campaign around the hashtags: #1point5, #1point5tostayalive, #COP21, #COP21Paris2015 and #climatechange. What is needed, say climate justice activists, is to amplify the voices of artists to civil society, and amplify the voices of civil society to the region and the international community.
The local initiative, began in July, is being implemented with the support of PANOS Caribbean and Saint Lucia’s Ministry of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology. The Media Association of Saint Lucia (MASL) and Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) are also onboard. The campaign has as its rallying call, a quote by Dr. Didacus Jules, Director General of the OECS: “We will clamour if we must, but they will hear us: 1point5 to stay alive.”