St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Sustainable Development and Culture, the Hon. Carlos James, has made the call for greater inclusion of all island states at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC).
Minister James made the point while delivering a keynote address at the Climate Action Zone at the 28th Conference of Parties held last week in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
According the sustainable development minister, while there are those who question the scientific data behind climate change, we must use the best available science to guide the way forward on climate action. “The reports, particularly from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is suggesting we phase out the use of fossil if our 1.5 target is to be within reach and this requires everyone coming to a common ground on how this is achieved,” Minister James said.
The St. Vincent and the Grenadines’ minister commended the inclusion of oil and gas executives at the 28th Conference of Parties, but cautioned that some civic society and island states risk being isolated from the table. “If you take a look at the innovations being used in places like Taiwan, they have legislated climate action through a Climate Change Response Act. Surely, there are lessons we can learn from this and it’s time we move the discussion on climate action beyond geo-political differences,” Minister James said.
Taiwan, which represents up to 1 percent of global greenhouse gases, has not been able to sign on to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as the island state is blocked by Beijing from participating in United Nations affiliated bodies, due to a dispute over its political status. Beijing, which repeatedly claims that Taiwan is part of China, does not include Taiwan’s emissions in its count. Despite the political challenges, the island state has pledged to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.