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Saint Lucia sounds warning at UN on need for extra funding to tackle climate change

Saint Lucia sounds warning at UN on need for extra funding to tackle climate change

Stephenson King, Prime Minister of Saint Lucia
The world needs to urgently scale up funding to support the efforts of poorer countries to mitigate the impact of climate change, Saint Lucia’s Prime Minister told the United Nations today, warning that without an injection of extra funds, these nations will have to divert money away from vital anti-poverty projects.

In an address to the General Assembly’s annual general debate, Stephenson King said this evening that few developing countries have enough financial or human resources to tackle the ongoing impact of climate change.

He cited World Bank data that indicates that the annual impact of climate change on all members of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) totals more than 11 per cent of the region’s gross domestic product (GDP).

“This means that we have no choice but to divert critical funding away from our poverty alleviation programmes towards trying to protect our countries from this formidable threat,” Mr. King said.

“There is no doubt that stable long-term funding is of critical importance to developing countries and cannot be underestimated. We need urgently to scale up new and additional sources of funding to support mitigation efforts. We cannot rely on humanitarian assistance alone, which only addresses the consequences to such events.”

Mr. King said developing nations were aware that affluent countries and donors “are serious about implementing meaningful mitigation action, so we call for a firm collective commitment to provide the new and additional resources. Let us not continue to renege on promises made as developing States cannot do it alone, nor should we be penalized for actions of industrialized countries.”