The Importance to SIDS of a Global Agreement on Climate Change

Honourable Senator Maxine P.O. McClean was invited to join the Cabinet of Prime Minister, the Honourable Mr. David Thompson, as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office in January 2008. On November 24, Senator McClean was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Foreign Trade. She is a graduate of University of the West Indies (UWI)-  Cave Hill Campus and received her MBA and MA in International Affairs at Ohio University. She is former Lecturer of the Department of Management Studies at the UWI, where she taught for more than 17 years.

There can be no doubt that the phenomenon of climate change and its adverse impacts present a clear and present danger to all SIDS, many of which, are located in the Caribbean. From the outset, the Caribbean has consistently maintained the position that the challenges confronting SIDS in the face of climate change are of an intrinsically existential nature. For SIDS, the mantra below “1.5 to stay alive” is simply a statement of the stark realities, both current and forecast, that global temperature and sea-level rises signify. Our physical survivability, our economic sustainability and, indeed, our very existence, are directly linked to the crafting of an ambitious global legally-binding framework that constrains global temperature increase and sea-level rise to tolerable levels. Such an agreement, predicated on the best available scientific evidence, is needed sooner rather than later. Time is simply not on our side. Read Paper