ON 12 December 2020, Prime Minister Allen Chastanet joined a plethora of world leaders at the Climate Ambition Summit hosted jointly by the UK, the UN, France, Chile and Italy. The summit was held on the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement and was the platform for countries to declare new commitments to tackle climate change and deliver on those made in Paris. In his speech, PM Chastanet outlined Saint Lucia’s commitments and its strategy to deal with the challenges of climate change. This virtual event is part of the UK’s road to its hosting and presidency of COP26 slated for November 2021 in Glasgow, Scotland.
The Prime Minister stated that being a fossil fuel dependent country, Saint Lucia’s re-vision of its nationally determined contributions (NDCs) has taken a sectoral approach, which focuses on the energy sector. While Saint Lucia’s emissions are minimal, this sector contributes the most to its emissions. Therefore, priority will be given to improv-ing legislation for power generation, regulation and ramping up electric vehicle penetration in the government fleet, in the first instance.
He also indicated Saint Lucia has aligned its NDC implementation with its national and sectoral adaptation planning procedures, Sustainable Development Goals implementation, loss and damage, gender mainstreaming and by ensuring that the voices of youth are heard. PM Chastanet implored the international community to make climate finance available to vulnerable countries so that they can deliver realistically by 2030 and to play its part in contributing to global emissions reduction.
The UK announced its new climate ambition targets which include 68% reduction in greehouse gas emissions and getting the UK on the path to net zero by 2030. The UK’s full climate ambition plan can be read here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-ten-point-plan-for-a-green-industrial-revolution. The UK also hosted a UK-CARICOM Climate Ambition Summit a day ahead of the December 12 event where several CARICOM countries declared their ambitious targets for tackling climate change.