Paris negotiations are intense and complex but hope flickers

St. Lucia's PM Dr. Kenny Anthony
St. Lucia’s PM Dr. Kenny Anthony

On-going negotiations at the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference (COP21) are being been described as “very intense and very complex”.

However, Dr. Kenny Anthony, the Prime Minister of St. Lucia, told Caribbean News Service (CNS) he believes there are some important signals and opportunities: “I cannot recall when last for example the United States openly championed an issue of great concern for the Small Island Developing States. President (Barack) Obama did so at the conference and reiterated that in a personal conversation we had with him. Prime Minister Freundel Stuart of Barbados and three other leaders from the Pacific met with Obama “and he reiterated that concern. It means therefore that we can work with the United States to shape a common platform.”

But challenges remain.

Prime Minister Anthony said there are some countries that are hostile to the Caribbean’s agenda and these countries need to be won over. It was not immediately clear which countries are unfriendly and antagonistic to the region’s programme and the prime minister did not disclose this: “We need to talk to them, we need to persuade them. It means therefore that we have to engage in some intense diplomacy with those countries because it is vital that everyone is able to identify with this conference and with an outcome that satisfies nearly all countries. Now that almost suggest that it’s impossible. but I think if we can achieve some minimum positions then that would be helpful to the entire process, I am therefore hopeful.”

If the calibre of the region’s negotiators is anything to go by, then Prime Minister Anthony has good reason to be hopeful: “I want to take the opportunity to say how pleased I am at the quality of representation that we have here. We have some good, solid technocrats; some good, committed technicians, persons who are very passionate about the outcome of these negotiations and I believe that that will benefit the region immeasurably. I can’t say when last I saw the region pulling together like this in such a coherent fashion to protect the best interest of the region and indeed overall Small Island Developing States and I think that augers well. That will strengthen our approach, strengthen the positions that we hold, add quality, character and focus and in these negotiations all of this will matter.”

Assuming that the Caribbean gets a favourable outcome in Paris, the work continues to convince residents that there are issues they must face. Prime Minister Anthony said he still fears that there is a gap between what the politicians are saying and what the people of the Caribbean actually believe: “There are lots of people in the Caribbean who have not understood the danger that these islands face. It is true that they have experienced adverse weather systems, but they have not translated that experience into understanding that there is a change in the weather systems and the weather patterns because of climatic factors. So we have to translate that to our ordinary people.”

Dr. Anthony said there’s one hopeful sign and that is the way the young people and the artists of the Caribbean have come together to help to consolidate the region’s position and to shape its views: “Never before have I seen such a great partnership between civil society and the governments. This is an issue that has united us and we need to build on that experience because it is a qualitative change in approach.”

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  1. GMVL
    December 3, 2015

    The reason you’re still locking horns is because ‘right to economic might’ is being used to trump basic human rights. I’ll be gobsmacked if they willingly come to the table on limiting global temperature increase to 1.5C rather than the more obscure 2-degree Celsius increase which, in reality, edges towards a 3-degree increase. All too little effort too late…and can they really be expected to show the political will to go the extra mile?

    • GMVL
      December 3, 2015

      …but if there’s no agreement to commit to a 1.5-degree Celsius increase over pre-industrial levels, then it’s time to look at the means to the end: in other words, in what other ways that outcome could be achieved. Bargain for a ramping-up of investment in green technology (and technology transfer) and renewable energy research and development.

  2. shaka zulu
    December 3, 2015

    Prior to graduating from sifocol in 1998 one of my test questions from my Geo was the impact of increase temprature on the environment and How does the intensity and expansion of agricultural affect the environment. This means that this gobal warming chatter is nothing new and I could probably write a book about it. There is a lot that could be done to lessen the impacts in the Caribbean without all this. That is an essay by itself. Somehow I am getting the feeling that the Caribbean region is more concerned about the amount of money they can get from the rich countries than anything else and combating global warming is least of thier concern. How can u reduce carbon footprint when you have no measurments.

  3. Me
    December 3, 2015

    Where is P.M. Skerrit? Is he part of the OECS group in Paris? Or did he send his sidekick again? I really would like to know if ghe is there batting for us or on some other mission of his own.

    • December 3, 2015

      This is not only a OECS matter, it is a global issue. One can also ask about Ralph Gonsalves, Gaston Brown is back home dealing with bank closures, simply put not all the Caribbean heads attended this conference. Contrary to some opinions Dominica is still suffering from the effects of ERICA. To expect the PM to attend every conference at this time is just political crap

  4. Jesus_Was_A_Captalist
    December 3, 2015

    Climate Change is a hoax. Those big countries always pushing agendas to our detriment. The small islands bankrupt and they desperate for funds, but the main goal to put limits on economic giants like Russia & india.

    • December 4, 2015

      Climate change is not a hoax :!:

      When God created the earth He created it with resources to last a certain length of time.

      The scriptures show the earth will not last forever in its present condition. ”We look for a new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwells righteousness.” (2 Peter 3:13)

      We have been put here to be the custodians of the earth. It has been man’s poor management and greed that has brought us to the brink of ruin. The best scientific minds may be able to pull us back, and buy time. But eventually Christ will return to earth. When His nail pierced foot touches down on the Mount of Olives God’s new order of things will be ushered in.

      My friend are you ready for His appearing :?:

      ”He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life. and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.” (John 3:36)

      Sincerely, Rev. Donald Hill. Evangelist.

      • Thorbjørn Jagland
        December 4, 2015

        You are a fake pastor. You need to read Global Warming: Climate Orthodoxy Perpetuates A Hoax” at a meeting of the American Meteorological Society in Oregon by Physicist Gordon Fulks. Fulks presented a slide show with his presentation, providing clear evidence that man-made global warming is a fraud, perpetuated by those with political agendas and those who grow rich from government grants. Read it in the wall street journal :-P

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