Over the next two weeks, from November 1-12, world leaders, negotiators and international
institutions will converge in Glasgow, Scotland for the 26 th United Nations
Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) with the hope of
agreeing on a comprehensive plan being drawn up to avert a global climate
In what is being billed as the most important climate meeting since the
Paris Agreement, an international treaty on climate change agreed among
world leaders at the UN Climate Conference in 2015, this year’s conference
aims to hold countries accountable to their commitment of substantially
reducing global greenhouse gas emissions and to provide financing to
developing countries to mitigate climate change.
Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development and Culture,
Hon. Carlos James, who holds the portfolio for climate change related
matters, leaves the State on Wednesday and will lead a four-member
delegation to the climate conference as part of St. Vincent and the
Grenadines’ efforts to strengthen the position of the Alliance of Small Island
The climate summit, according to Minister James, represents an important
call to action to hold developed countries accountable as the main
contributors of greenhouse gas emissions.
Following a strong and positive opening of the conference during the plenary
session attended by Caribbean Community (CARICOM) leaders. AOSIS
negotiators and ministers are now preparing for an intense round of
negotiations in an all-out effort to avert a climate crisis.
To reverse this pending geophysical crisis, Minister James said, will require
reducing current global emissions in half by 2030 and to net-zero by 2050
while demanding greater financial support for Small Island Developing
States (SIDS) in strengthening their resilience to climate impacts through
the implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures.
Minister James said the catastrophic effects brought on by climate change is
a global emergency that goes beyond national borders and requires
international cooperation and coordinated solutions at all levels.
He noted that the 20 largest economies of the world, which make up the G20
countries, are responsible for emitting nearly 80 percent of global carbon
emissions while their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are well
below what is required to ensure global temperatures remain below 1.5
“Despite being responsible for only 0.2 percent of global carbon emissions
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and territories are on the frontline in
terms of exposure to compounded risks and steadily deteriorating
circumstances resulting from the impact of climate change,” Minister James
The sustainable development minister cautioned that if action is not taken
now, Small Island Development States like St. Vincent and the Grenadines,
will become unrecognisable due to the severe impact of climate change.
He noted that the scale of climate finance required to tackle these
challenges presents a permanent strain on the economies of small States.
“A warmer planet will pose significant threats to Small Island Developing
States… it means more frequent natural disasters, severe droughts,
shortage of food and irreversible damage to our eco-systems, all of which
threatens our very existence due to our vulnerability,” Minister James said.
The other members of delegation are Nyasha Hamilton, Environmental
Resource Analyst, Edmund R. Jackson, Climate Change Advisor and
Janeel Drayton, Counsellor, Permanent Mission of St. Vincent and the
Grenadines to the United Nations.