The issue of Climate Change has received significant attention in the year 2014. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is one of the many countries which has fallen victim to the harsh realities of Climate Change and therefore, its representatives have addressed the matter on various forums. In 2014, Ambassador King in her keynote addresses in Ottawa, Canada and Washington D.C stated,
“Let us reflect on the fact that Saint Vincent and the Grenadines has fallen victim to the harsh realities of Climate Change. Our multi island state is counted amongst the most vulnerable countries in the world to natural disasters. We live in the presence of an active volcano, which sits on the Caribbean earthquake belt and of course we sit in the region’s hurricane path and increasingly we are experiencing unseasonal weather patterns. When the rain stopped and floods receded last December we had lost 12 precious lives and 17% of our Gross Domestic Product. On September 23 of this year, the Secretary General of the United Nations hosted a High-Level, Climate Change Summit at which Senator, the Honorable, Camillo Gonsalves addressed member states. Minister Gonsalves reminded the member states of our vulnerability, despite our miniscule carbon footprint, and appealed to the international community to “shoulder its fair share of the mitigation and financing burden”. Similarly, President Barack Obama in his address to the member states began his speech with the stating clearly that “there’s one issue that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other, and that is the urgent and growing threat of a changing climate.” Actor Leonardo DiCaprio, the recently appointed United Nations Messenger of Peace, told the leaders at the summit they had a choice. “The time to answer the greatest challenge of our existence on this planet is now,” he said. “You can make history or you will be vilified.”
If the large emitters do not reduce their carbon footprint, the consequences for small-island states like Saint Vincent and the Grenadines will be devastating and irreparable. …”
On the September 23, 2014 Senator, the Honorable, Camillo Gonsalves addressed member states of the United Nations at the Climate Change Summit. To view his speech, please click here.