SVG needs to do its bit to protect the environment and take positive action on climate change. SVG attends conference after conference about climate change around the world, but we see little action by the ULP regime in sticking to the pledges it makes on behalf of SVG.
In Costa Rica earlier this month, European Union and Latin America and the Caribbean ministers met to discuss the environment and climate change. Ministers from the two regions committed to increase cooperation to tackle the planetary crises of climate change, pollution and biodiversity loss. They also agreed to promote a transition towards low carbon, circular and clean economies where nature is protected and restored.
The commitment to transition to low-carbon, circular, clean and nature-positive economies and societies, seems little more than a joke and lip service, when you look at the way the ULP regime runs the SVG economy.
SVG’s economy is far from low carbon.
Electricity production in our country is mainly from diesel fuel. The ULP regime has had over 20 years to make electricity production in SVG 100% from renewable energy sources, such as wind, hydro, solar and wave energy. These sources of energy are zero carbon and would significantly reduce our country’s carbon emission output.
A substantial amount of the food consumed in SVG is from abroad. Over EC$200 million worth of food is imported each year into SVG. The carbon emissions that come from transporting that food to SVG add a lot to our country’s carbon footprint. If there were financial incentives to make local foods the first choice, we could substantially reduce our country’s carbon footprint. We could create a more circular economy by eating what we grow and growing what we eat.
For decades, the ULP regime has focused on running the SVG economy on tourism. This is very bad for the environment and climate. The carbon emissions from tourist flights and cruise ships fly in the face of any commitment to a low carbon economy. Also, it has been well documented that cruise ships dump raw sewerage and other waste into the ocean. This is very bad for the ocean environment and marine life.
There has been little investment in SVG for electric vehicles. More people would switch to and buy electric vehicles if there was better infrastructure nationally of charging points all over the country. The ULP regime’s failure to invest in this infrastructure means our national carbon emissions footprint is higher than it needs to be.
Leader of SVG Green Party, Warrant Officer Ivan O’Neal BSc (Hons), MSc, MBA, believes that the ULP regime has been a failure on environmental protection and climate change policies. They have failed to transform our society into a low-carbon, circular, clean and nature-positive country. On our current path, and without a transition to a Green society, there is no way SVG will reach net zero emissions by 2050.
SVG needs a Green government to invest in renewable energy and green industries and create thousands of Green jobs. SVG needs to plant more trees to protect our rainforest and water sources and significantly and quickly reduce our carbon emissions footprint.