St. Kitts And Nevis’ Prime Minister Amplifies His Call For Urgent Action Against Climate Change At The Global Sustainable Island Summit

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Basseterre, St. Kitts – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis, the Honourable  Dr. Terrance Drew, delivered an insightful address at the opening session of the 2024 Global Sustainable Island Summit, in which he reiterated his call for joint urgent action against the existential threats to small island states posed by climate change.

Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew.

The May 21-23 Global Sustainable Island Summit, taking place on Prince Edward Island, Canada, has assembled professionals, researchers, policymakers, industry leaders, and students, for wide-range discussions focused on promoting sustainable development for islands globally.

“There is no island that, on its own, can insulate itself from the burning heat, the economic and non-economic loss, the disappearance of our cultural heritage, the deterioration of our beaches and the growing mounds of sargassum seaweed swarming our shores,” said Prime Minister Dr. Drew, while underscoring his government’s own commitment to partnership and solidarity in the global fight against the impact of the climate crisis on island nations.

Dr. Drew also emphasised the need for greater access to financing for small island states, whose contributions to climate change are negligible at best.

“For most of us who are categorised as Small Island Developing States, we are trapped in ‘the island paradox’. We are not rich enough, nor are we poor enough to fund our green transition. This is why we as an island community have been active at the UN [United Nations] in seeking an advisory opinion on the climate crisis,” said Prime Minister Drew.

He added, “The international financial architecture is neocolonial and in urgent need of restructuring and reform. The survival of the islands is directly linked to an international financial system which allows for fair, just and more reliable access to urgent climate finance and climate crisis response grant funding. This is why we reiterate here among our partners … to work with us to demand and drive change in global  finance.”

Prime Minister Drew is joined at the meeting by St. Kitts and Nevis’ Minister of Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Action, the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke; Naeemah Hazelle, Permanent Secretary in the Prime Minister’s Office; Colincia Levine, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment; High Commissioner of St. Kitts and Nevis to Canada, His Excellency Samuel Berridge, and Eustace Wallace, Minister Counselor, High Commission to Canada.

Prime Minister Dr. Drew is expected to further amplify his call for action at the 4th Global Conference of Small Island Developing States, slated for May 27 to 30, 2024, in St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda. The Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke will also be in attendance at this conference.

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