In Doha, St Lucia’s Fletcher Urges Large Nations on Climate Change


Above: the Doha talks (UN Photo/Mark Garten)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Failure to reach a climate agreement in Doha will result in a global catastrophe, St Lucia’s Dr James Fletcher told the UN Conference on Climate Change Wednesday.

Fletcher, St Lucia’s Minister of Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology, pointed to regions of the world already experiencing intense storms and prolonged droughts.

“We are seeing droughts that are more severe, hurricanes that are more severe and strike later in the year,” he said. “We are seeing rivers that don’t flow as much as they use to before; our fishers complain of reduced catches because our oceans are warming.  So really climate exchange is not an academic discussion for us it is something that we confront on a daily basis.”
Fletcher and colleagues from the Alliance of Small Island States met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for almost 45 minutes during the conference.

“I must say I was very impressed by the sympathies the UN Secretary General has and continues to show for the plight of small states like St Lucia and other members of AOSIS,” he said.
Fletcher has proposed the establishment of a five-year second commitment period from Jan. 1, 2013 to Dec. 31, 2017; during that time major players would have to commit to being “ambitious and free from conditionality.”

He said that major industrialized countries must reduce their gas emissions.

 “At the end of the day small island states contribute very little to global gas emissions and the culprits really is the developed world and that the problem we face because we are skiing these countries to curb its emissions and many of these  countries depend on the use of fossil fuels to produce energy,” he said. “But most of those fossil fuels are contributing to serious hardships in countries like Saint Lucia which are low lined island states, so the negotiations have been very intense.”