Foreign Minister Baron with with former UN chief Ban Ki-moon after Dominica ratified the Paris Climate Accord

Dominica’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and CARICOM Affairs has urged the United States of America to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord, saying it is a major concern to small states.

Minister Francine Baron was at the time (June 20) speaking at the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) hosted in Mexico.

“Peace and prosperity, however, cannot be achieved if our island states continue to be affected by the impact of climate change,” she said. “The impact of more severe hurricanes and the destruction of our most valued tourism assets: our beaches and coral reefs and; the damage to our infrastructure, threaten to reverse the developmental gains that we have made. Our efforts to attain the 2030 sustainable development goals of the United Nations cannot be achieved without dealing with the causes of climate change.”

Recently US President Donald Trump announced that he was withdrawing the US from the Paris Climate Accord. The move was seen by many as a way of dampening worldwide effort to curb global warming. The accord sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

Baron said the accord held out hope for all small island developing states.

“The commitments of countries especially the major emitters of greenhouse gasses to reduce their emissions through a series of mitigation measures has been estimated by the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change, to change the trajectory of global warming,” she noted. “The withdrawal of the 2nd largest emitter of greenhouse gasses from the Paris Climate Accord is of major concern to small states.”

She said climate change poses and existential threat to at least 14 of the 34 member states of the OAS and many around the world.

“We, therefore, use this forum to urge the United States of American to reconsider its decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord,” Baron remarked. “Mr. President, we cannot achieve the sustainable developmental goals set forth in the 2030 agenda of the United Nations if the impact brought about by climate change with more severe meteorological events, storms and hurricanes, and severe droughts continue to negatively impact our efforts at development.”