“1.5 to stay alive” is the plea of small island states for a 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature benchmark.
Director General of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States Didacus Jules told the conference’s plenary session that the bloc’s small states were in Paris appealing for a temperature cap that is needed for their survival.
“When we demand 1.5 to stay alive, we are not simply championing a development cause; we are standing our ground against the rising water of climatic catastrophe ... We are fighting for nothing less than our survival and our right to preserve and protect the corner of Earth that we have inherited from our parents that is our sacred responsibility to pass to our children,” he said.
Representatives from Saint Lucia, which leads the 15-member Caribbean Community (CARICOM) bloc on Climate Change, are confident that they have the support of the Caribbean people as they push for a 1.5 degrees Celsius temperature cap.
“What has happened in Dominica, what has happened in the Bahamas has really driven home to people that climate change is real. This year, I think that we are coming into this COP with a very strong appreciation of climate change from Caribbean people and a very strong call to action from them, to their governments to do something about climate change,” said James Fletcher, Saint Lucia’s minister for sustainable development, referring to destructive floods recently in the region.
France, Australia and Canada are the wealthy countries which have already endorsed the bold target set by small states. It is good news for representatives of the Caribbean countries, who say that the 2 degrees cap proposed by some rich nations is still too high.