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Saint Lucia's external affairs minister concerned about negative impact of climate change

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Contact: Chris Satney

Tuesday October 6, 2009 – Saint Lucia’s External Affairs Minister Hon. Rufus George Bousquet who referred to climate change as the most serious challenge facing mankind today, called for an urgent collective response by the international community.


Mr. Bousquet, who was at the time addressing the United Nations in New York, detailed how Saint Lucia was working on policies to reduce the effects of the phenomenon.


The island is a founding member of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), which is pushing an agenda for prompt action on climate change.


“For our part, Saint Lucia and other Caribbean states have pledged to take voluntary mitigation measures to ensure our collective survival. We are working assiduously to formulate policies and renew legislation to develop our renewed energy potential in wind, solar and geothermal energy. We will intensify efforts to preserve our limited forest cover, which serves to protect our water supply, biodiversity and our important factors in carbon sequestration. These are for us central survival measures,” the minister said.


Small island developing states and least developed countries had joined together, to appeal that the new Copenhagen climate agreement limit temperature increases to the attainable level of 1.5 degrees Celsius.


Anything above that, Mr. Bousquet said, would be devastating to the existence of small economies.


“We are extremely concern that the adverse effects of climate change are constantly altering access to basic resources, such as land water and food. Decreased accessibility has threatened social security, a daily reality for many of us around the world. We may not disappear as the Maldives will if nothing is done, but it will certainly be expensive to survive.”


Speaking later during a reception at Saint Lucia's Mission to the United Nations and Consulate General, Minister Bousquet said climate change was already reducing the yield of food producers in Saint Lucia, leaving man, including fishers, baffled.

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