Basseterre, St. Kitts, November 10, 2023 (SKNIS): In a decisive move to strengthen its influence in global climate discussions, St. Kitts and Nevis has expanded its delegation at the upcoming Conference of Parties-COP28. The Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke, Minister of Environment and Climate Action, during the November 8 edition of Infocus, emphasized the critical importance of this diversified representation, including various ministers and technical experts, to effectively address the multifaceted challenges of climate change.
Prominent regional and international organizations are strongly encouraging a strategic shift for greater participation of government representatives to counterbalance the dominance of lobbyists and activists in the climate arena.
The Minister stressed that COP28, set to take place from November 30 to December 12, 2023, in Expo City, Dubai, represents more than an environmental advocacy platform, as it showcases St. Kitts and Nevis’ commitment to climate resilience and sustainable development. The inclusion of various ministers, including those overseeing energy, agriculture, and foreign affairs, reflects a holistic approach, acknowledging the interconnected nature of climate change with other sectors.
“What is really happening is a shift towards recognizing that climate action and climate change is not just about ministers of government and technocrats in the environment,” said Dr. Clarke.
“There are more lobbyists for oil companies at COP than there are environmental activists because it is a fight against fossil fuel versus renewable energy. It is a fight for gender and justice and young people and rich countries. It is a fight against Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and big countries who are making millions off of fossil fuels,” Dr. Clarke added.
To effectively navigate these complexities, collaboration is key. Dr. Clarke highlighted the importance of having various ministers, including those of energy and climate, working together. St. Kitts and Nevis’ approach was lauded at last year's conference and is seen as essential for understanding and addressing the nuances of climate finance and sustainable development.
Dr. Clarke also underscored the critical role of international partnerships, particularly praising the support of the Republic of China (Taiwan). This partnership has been instrumental in ensuring St. Kitts and Nevis' strong presence at COP28, including a dedicated pavilion for side events and significant youth involvement.
The Minister expressed gratitude for the Prime Minister, the Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew’s commitment to participate in COP28, a move that aligns with the Caribbean Community's (CARICOM) robust stance on climate issues, particularly in securing funds for loss and damage response.
This year's COP28 participation by St. Kitts and Nevis, marked by an expanded and diverse delegation, represents a pivotal moment in the nation’s commitment to a sustainable and resilient future, signaling a new era of climate diplomacy and action on the global stage.
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