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Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew’s COP28 World Leaders Climate Action Summit Session National Statement

Published 8 December 2023


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Prime Minister of St Kitts and Nevis
COP28 World Leaders Climate Action Summit Session

National Statement (Transcribed)
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Prime Minister of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Hon. Dr. Terrance Drew delivering his National Statement at Day 2 of the World Leaders Climate Action Summit Session in Dubai, UAE

Mr. President of COP28, let me first thank the UAE for its very hospitable welcome to all of us to this most important gathering. 

Mr President, if now is not the time for bold action in addressing this planetary crisis: when the world is on fire, is being submerged, is barreling toward 2.7 degrees Celsius, when each day reveals grimmer death tolls attributed to climate – then when is? Are we prepared to accept this as our new norm?

Our countries and our vulnerable communities cannot survive another round of inaction, nor should we accept this complacency. For SIDS: 1.5 to stay alive is still a must.

Boldly I join the bastion of leaders from the global south in particular the Caribbean Community, forced to the front lines of the climate crisis, to demand greater accountability and responsibility. Our countries will be lost to the pages of history if nothing is done. Commendably, the Bridgetown Initiative of my sister, Prime Minister Mia Mottley, will expedite equitable access, growth, and crisis response. To the COP28 presidency, we welcome the capitalization of the Loss and Damage Fund.

Our host country the UAE, as it celebrates its 52nd Union Day, is the clearest example of what it means to envision and deliver a resilient development: Action builds trust! This is necessary as we seek to narrow the widening gap between the G7 and G77.

I recall, Moderator, the situation of the Republic of China on Taiwan, a reliable global partner in the climate crisis. Saint Kitts and Nevis firmly believes that Taiwan, as an island nation, should be allowed to play a meaningful role in the existential policy drives of the United Nations.

Small Size:
Moderator, with 50,000+ people our small size and notable position as the smallest independent nation in the Western Hemisphere, presents an opportunity. With the convergence of our geo-strategic outlook, global collaboration, and focused investments especially in our energy sector we can become the first model sustainable island state to be found anywhere in the world showcasing the path to progress and prosperity.

Geothermal: Geothermal development in our twin island federation allows for a nationwide underground electric grid connecting our two islands. An investment of US$350 million over the next 5 years, can ensure that Saint Kitts and Nevis goes fully green with the capacity to provide clean energy to our neighboring countries.

Recently we renegotiated 39 megawatts of solar energy with battery storage capacity which will ensure that there are redundancies built into our energy grid. We are acting!

Cost of Change for Climate Resilience
Mr. President our small nation has a GDP of approximately 1 billion dollars, while comparatively there are individual nations here that represent the combined GDP of every Caribbean Island. Our size does not dim our ambition. In fact, it stirs it, especially as choices diminish.

The transformation to a Sustainable Island State is so profound as it is linked to our survival; to the survival of what it truly means to be Kittitian and Nevisian. 
Finally, I say, Moderator, let us all act to save ourselves. Thank you very much.

PS. Click on the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62Bmt3xOaZE at 3:50:38 to view the Prime Minister’s National Statement delivered on Day 2 of the COP28 High-Level Segment National Statements Opening.

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