Saint Lucia, 1 December 2015. The Climate Conference COP21 opened in Paris yesterday and, to accompany and support the efforts of Caribbean delegates in the difficult negotiations of the next two weeks, Caribbean artists have released a theme song that calls on the world to recognise and respect the legitimate claims of small islands in the face of climate change.
With lyrics written by Kendel Hippolyte and music composed and produced by Ronald Boo Hinkson, this song stresses the need for greater climate justice and for a shared commitment to combat climate change. This project has brought together several of the Caribbean’s greatest and most conscious artists, as part of a regional campaign spearheaded by Panos Caribbean in collaboration with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre and other regional partners.
Artists performing on the song include Banky Banx from Anguilla, BelO from Haiti, E.sy Kennenga from Martinique, Jessy Leonce, Ace Loctar and Shayne Ross from Saint Lucia, David Rudder from Trinidad, Aaron Silk from Jamaica, and Taj Weekes and Deridee Williams from Saint Lucia.
“How the song all came together is still astounding”, says Kendel Hippolyte. “Each person gave time, gave talent, gave art, gave heart. For Caribbean civilisation – because that’s what we’re fighting to save and pass on”.
Over the past few weeks, under the motto “1 point 5 to stay alive”, artists, media workers, civil society organisations and government officials have worked together to raise awareness of the importance of the negotiations now taking place in Paris and of their major implications for the Caribbean.
One of the messages conveyed in this campaign, which was launched by Saint Lucia’s Minister of Sustainable Development Dr James Fletcher in October, is the need for the Paris conference to deliver a legally binding agreement, a transparent and verifiable agreement that limits carbon emissions and ensures that global temperatures do not rise more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
The campaign, also seeks to highlight the fact that it is the poorest countries, communities and people that are the most vulnerable to climate change, and that the fight against climate change is also the fight against poverty and for social justice.
The song is available for listening and downloads for public broadcast at https://soundcloud.com/panos-caribbean