Minister for Education, Gender, Innovation and Sustainable Development, Dr Gale T.C. Rigobert, led Saint Lucia’s delegation to the Preparatory meeting for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, from June 30 to July 1, 2019.
The United Nations Secretary General will convene a Climate Action Summit in September 2019, to bring together governments, the private sector, civil society, local authorities and other international organizations to develop ambitious solutions touching on areas including: the global transition to renewable energy; sustainable and resilient infrastructures and cities; sustainable agriculture and management of forests and oceans; resilience and adaptation to climate impacts; and alignment of public and private finance with a net zero economy.
In Abu Dhabi, the meeting took stock of progress so far across all the Action Areas of the Climate Action Summit, and identified and developed proposals, based on the criteria established for initiatives to be considered for announcement at the Summit.
Over the two days, Minister Rigobert, actively participated in the three Ministerial Roundtable discussions, on “Raising Ambition”, “NDC enhancement” and on the “Health Climate Nexus”, where she not only highlighted Saint Lucia’s commitment to robust climate action, but joined with the United Kingdom and Egypt who are co-leading on the Resilience and Adaptation Action Area to amplify the need to advance global efforts to address and manage the impacts and risks of climate change, particularly in those communities and nations most vulnerable – like small island developing states (SIDS).
Minister Rigobert called for the re-setting of the financial system to be more sensitive and responsive to the particular vulnerabilities of SIDS because of the vagaries of climate change, and went on to suggest that “if this re-setting was not happening organically that SIDS and other stakeholders should pull at the moral strings of the players in the financial sector”. She applauded the efforts of UN SG Antonio Guterres for bringing into sharp focus the plight of SIDS who are on the frontline of the fury of climate change.
The Minister also engaged in productive meetings with her Ministerial counterpart from the United Kingdom, the Director General of the International Renewable Agency (IRENA), the Director General of Global Issues in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations.
As Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister Allen Chastanet assumes the chairmanship of the CARICOM Conference of Heads of Government for the next six months, with the additional responsibility as lead for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, Minister Rigobert has been strengthening the foundation for Saint Lucia’s continued active and meaningful engagement at the international and regional levels, as a true champion of climate action.