CASTRIES: Saint Lucia’s minister for sustainable development, energy, science and technology, Senator Dr. James Fletcher, has called for consistent communication on the issue of climate change. The minister’s call to action was made at the opening of the inaugural meeting of the Regional Coordinating Committee on Climate Change (RCC), held last week in St. Lucia.
The minister spoke in his capacity as chairman of the RCC.
Dr. Fletcher said despite the availability of what he termed “volumes of data” on Climate Change and its impacts on small island states, the subject is not a high priority for most Caribbean people.
“Our efforts at communicating the climate change message have been a little disjointed and un-sustained,” said Fletcher. “Conveniently, when a devastating storm or hurricane strikes one of our islands we reference climate change and speak of how these phenomena will become more frequent and severe with a warmer climate. But outside of that, very little is said.”
Fletcher said small island developing states such as St. Lucia remain largely “uninformed of the wide-ranging impacts of this global crisis”.
The minister also appealed for a more co-ordinated approach by regional governments, agencies and development partners in dealing with climate change.
“Climate Change will impact almost every single economic and social sector in our countries – health, agriculture, transport, tourism, education, fisheries, social services; none will be spared,” said Fletcher. “The cost of adapting to the impacts of climate change is beyond the capacity of any of our fiscally-challenged governments. We have to make the best possible use of all available resources. We cannot afford any duplication of effort or wastage.”
Fletcher is also the chairman of the CARICOM Secretariat’s regional task force on sustainable development.