Now that nearly two hundred countries have agreed to work assiduously to keep temperature rise well below 2 degrees C but preferably less than 1.5 degrees C, we need to continue educating our citizens on methods of mitigation, adaptation and environmental conservation. We have already seen the impacts of climate change on our country, family and livelihoods, which will continue to threaten futures in ways even worse than previous years. As a SIDS, Saint Lucia is faced with choosing between the use of fossil fuels, the price of which has been declining even before the conclusion of COP21 negotiations, and alternative energy options which have become more costly to implement. Notwithstanding this reality and the temptation which it brings, the price elasticity of energy should not prevent us from addressing the existential threats Saint Lucians face from climate change.
CYEN has committed to informing and generating significant feedback on the decisions of COP21 in order to prepare Saint Lucians, especially the youth, for the impacts of climate change. The ultimate goal is to ensure that policies are created and implemented, with urgency, to facilitate easier implementation and establishment of programs which significantly improves the rate of adaptation at the household, community and private sector levels. Noting that climate change impacts are already being experienced, and Saint Lucia’s miniscule contribution to the causes of climate change, adaptation has therefore become an existential imperative with mitigation part of a sustainable economic strategy. We no longer have the luxury of time. We need ACTION NOW!
CYEN, from the beginning of our climate change sensitization, promised to return to communities around the Saint Lucia to gain feedback and increase awareness of climate change impacts and negotiations agreements from COP21held in Paris Frances. The Minister of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, Senator the Hon. Dr. James Fletcher and technical personnel will accompany CYEN at community meetings to inform and discuss the way forward after COP 21. Dr. Fletcher served as the Chief Negotiator with the CARICOM Delegation at the recent Conference of Parties, held in Paris France.
The first meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 2nd February 2016 at 5:30 pm at Saint Isidore Parish Hall, Soufriere. This session will cover the west coast (Canaries, Soufriere, and Choiseul).
The second meeting will be held in Vieux-Fort at the Vieux-Fort Primary School, Beanfield; on Wednesday 3rd February 2016 at 5:30 pm
Northern part of the Castries and Gros-Islet will be held on Thursday 4th February 2016 from 5:30 pm, at Castries City Hall.
The presentation in the communities will take the form of an opening remark by the Dr. Fletcher which would be followed by a panel discussion consisting of technical representatives from public and private sector which will present on climate change (or post COP21 actions) in relation to economy, agriculture, health, and youth.
CYEN welcomes all persons to attend. We believe that all Saint Lucians should be well informed of the implications of climate change, especially the youth who make up over 50% of our country’s population and whose future is in jeopardy.