SAN JUAN – St. Lucian Prime Minister Kenny Anthony said Monday that the Caribbean will be confronted with extreme weather conditions if the UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties does not produce a consensus on limiting the temperature increase to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“We are not the cause of the climate change problem, but we are among its poorest victims,” Anthony, the Caribbean Community Lead Head of Government on Climate Change and Sustainable Development, said on the first day of the Nov. 30-Dec. 11 UN event in Paris, known as COP21.
The prime minister said the damage done by Tropical Storm Erika in Dominica and Hurricane Joaquin in Bahamas, along with the effects of a severe drought across the region during 2015, are all signs of worse to come if climate change is not promptly addressed.
Anthony said that rising sea levels, ocean acidification, coral bleaching and securing funds for climate change adaptation are the main concerns for the Caribbean and he praised climate change negotiators from island nations for their efforts to make these issues known.
“Our cultures, our people and our livelihoods will depend on the outcome of the Paris climate change agreement,” the prime minister said.
CARICOM comprises Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.