Hurricane Beryl Serves As A Reminder Of The Existential Threat Of Climate Change To Small Island States

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew.
- Advertisement -

Basseterre, St. Kitts – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, Honourable Dr. Terrance Drew, expressed his sadness and sympathy to those Caribbean nations, including Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, that suffered extensive damages as a result of the passage of Hurricane Beryl.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew.

Addressing members of the media and the nation during the July 02, 2024, edition of the Roundtable, Prime Minister Dr. Drew said this hurricane, which was the earliest Category 5 storm ever to form in the Atlantic, is a stark reminder of the existential threat of climate change, particularly to small island states.“This is one of the things I’ve been talking about since coming to office, that we face an existential threat and that threat is the climate crisis,” Prime Minister Dr. Drew said. “This year we are seeing a record with a Category 5 hurricane in the month of June and this has occurred because the temperatures of the seas are high. The temperatures we are seeing now are the temperatures normally seen sometime in August/September but we are seeing it now in the very early part of the hurricane season and that means that we are in for a rough ride in 2024,” the prime minister added.

Dr. Drew stressed that the unfortunate situation of worsening climatic conditions and their associated negative impact on lives and livelihoods further strengthens the government’s resolve to transform the Federation into a sustainable island state—one that would be more resilient to the increasingly intense disasters. This underscores the urgency for St. Kitts and Nevis to construct a new climate-smart hospital and climate-smart homes.

The prime minister said, “With these storms that would be coming through the region, if it is one facility or institution that should remain standing it should be a hospital. When I hear reports that the hospitals in the Grenadines are basically destroyed and people don’t know what has happened to the patients there, it is frightening. When you hear 90 plus percent of the houses and buildings were damaged and the islands are basically uninhabitable at this time, it tells us that the climate crisis is real and it is really an existential threat and we must act.”

The government’s sustainable island state agenda is premised on seven key pillars, namely: food security, green energy transition, economic diversification, sustainable industries, the Creative Economy, COVID-19 recovery, and social protection.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew said setting the agenda of this important initiative brings with it a sense of hope for the twin-island Federation as it has effectively positioned the country on the right path towards sustainability.

- Advertisement -