Basseterre, St. Kitts, December1, 2022 (SKNIS): The importance of St. Kitts and Nevis having a seat at the table at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) to voice its concerns in relation to the effects of climate change was highlighted by Minister of Public Infrastructure, the Honourable Konris Maynard, at a press conference on Wednesday, November 30, 2022.
COP27 was held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from November 06 to 18. It was attended by more than 50,000 delegates from around the world. St. Kitts and Nevis was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Right Honourable Dr. Denzil Douglas, Minister of Environment and Climate Action, the Honourable Dr. Joyelle Clarke, and Minister Maynard along with support staff from the Ministry of Environment.
“COP27 offered a seat at the table,” Honourable Maynard stated on Wednesday. “The three of us [ministers] witnessed the signing for the release of funds to the Barbados Water Authority, which had accessed $40 million in GCF funding to aid in the transformation of their Water Authority. That process took over two years to come to fruition and only resulted because Barbados found a seat at the table.”
St. Kitts and Nevis is also experiencing challenges with its water supply that authorities attribute to global warming leading to drought conditions.
“Over the last ten years or thereabout, there has been almost a 20 percent decrease in rainfall in St. Kitts,” Honourable Maynard stated. “We depend on rainfall for our water. Seventy percent of our water comes from underground or what we call groundwater. That comes from the rain which permeates the soil and goes into our aquifers. With a 20 percent decrease in rainfall, but a continued increase in access to those aquifers you can see the challenge of why it is not possible to maintain 24/7 water. And so we are directly affected and that is why it was important for us to be present at the table to express the challenges that we are having to be able to access the necessary resources and funding to help alleviate this problem.”
The Minister of Public Infrastructure thanked the Republic of China (Taiwan) “for sponsoring this particular delegation to COP27, allowing us to be present and to have a seat at the table.”
He noted that an expected local outcome from the meeting is the establishment of an Inter ministerial Council that will mount an all of government response to transitioning from energy powered by fossil fuel to 100 percent of renewable energy.