Minister of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and Sustainable Development, Doctor Gale Rigobert, has told a global forum that this country’s tourism and fisheries industries are under threat from climate change.
She was addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2019-COP 25 High-Level Segment on Tuesday, December 10, 2019.
“Being so small and surrounded by water, we cannot help but be alarmed to know that with multi-meter sea level rise increases, there are greater risks to economic growth and some island nations may become economically unsustainable and uninhabitable,” Rigobert observed.
She made reference to the Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (ICCP) reports.
“Islands know firsthand what the IPCC reports mean, when they say that tropical cyclones have become more intense, with more rainfall, and higher storm surges. Our tourism industry, our economic mainstay, is under threat, and similarly, the fisheries sector, given that coral bleaching is on the increase and marine species are shifting away from the tropics and towards the pole,” the Saint Lucia Minister observed.
She said that limiting temperatures to 1.5°C is still feasible with more ambitious action taken well before 2030.
“The the science is strong and clear. However, deliberate attempts to deny it and play the role of the proverbial ostrich, sticking our heads in the sand, is utterly unacceptable!” Rigobert declared.
She told the gathering that the Saint Lucia government is serious about climate action.
Rigobert recalled that in May 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers approved Saint Lucia’s NDC Partnership Plan, becoming the first country to have a plan validated at that high level.
“We are also proud to be specifically referenced in a decision at COP 24 in Poland in 2018, having been among the 11 countries of the world at that time to have submitted our Cabinet-approved NAP to NAP Central,” the minister noted.
“So we are doing our part, despite our limitations and the negligibility of our emissions, but we need to be supported in our efforts; supported in the implementation of our NDCs, NAPs and associated sector plans,” Rigobert stated.