The following is the statement issued 5 June by the Chairman of the World Bank Small States Forum, Dr the Rt Hon Keith Mitchell, Prime Minister of Grenada, on the United States withdrawal from The Paris Agreement.
“On behalf of the World Bank Small States Forum of which I am Chair, I express deep disappointment at the decision by the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
This action will have a direct and negative impact on all Small Island and Low-lying Coastal Developing States (SIDS) and the future of our children and grandchildren.
This landmark Agreement, which was signed by 195 countries, committed to limiting global warming to well below 2˚C “with an endeavour to limit it even further to 1.5˚C” above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century. This is viewed by scientists as the minimum target to avert major climate-related catastrophes in the future.
SIDS are already experiencing the social and economic effects of Climate Change through intense weather-related events ranging from prolonged drought to very intense storms. These expose our vulnerability as small island states hindered by size, the low-lying nature of our coastal areas and challenges in absorbing economic shocks.
Through the Paris Agreement, significant funds are pledged by the industrialised nations to support climate change mitigation and adaptation programmes in SIDS such as my own country, Grenada. The development of these climate resilient programmes and projects would positively impact the livelihoods of our people.
It is encouraging that the overwhelming majority of nations around the world have restated their support and commitment to the Agreement and remain resolute in moving forward irrespective of the United States action.
Grenada and other small states will continue to champion the cause and lead the charge for all nations to abide by their moral, economic and political responsibility in taking the necessary actions to protect our planet.”