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St. Maarten not yet part of Climate Accord law

28 JANUARY 2017

THE HAGUE–Curaçao and St. Maarten have yet to formally indicate whether they want to participate in the Kingdom Law proposal to ratify the 2015 Paris Climate Accord.

This became clear during a plenary debate with State Secretary of Infrastructure and Environment Sharon Dijksma in the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on Wednesday. Member of the Second Chamber Liesbeth van Tongeren of the green left party GroenLinks had inquired about the participation of Aruba, Curaçao and St. Maarten in the execution of the Paris accord.

Dijksma explained that the law proposal in question regulated ratification for the entire Dutch Kingdom. “All countries of the Kingdom have been asked whether they want to be part. Aruba has already responded positively,” she said, lauding Aruba’s active participation at the meeting in Paris in December 2015.

The State Secretary said it was her impression that global warming and climate change were in the picture within the Kingdom. She said that this was “logical” because the Dutch Caribbean islands would be very much affected, and possibly sooner than Europe, by the consequences of climate change.

Dijksma explained that the Dutch Caribbean countries that wanted to be part of the Kingdom Law were free to contribute through their own measures. “They will do so to suit their own needs,” she said. Van Tongeren said it was “fantastic” that Aruba was so enthusiastic, but she urged the State Secretary to get Curaçao and St. Maarten to also actively participate in the execution of this highly important accord.

Dijksma reiterated that it was up to the individual countries whether and how they wanted to take part. “We cannot force this. Naturally it is important that measures are taken. The islands are the first victims when the sea level rises, which will bring major problems.”

Dijksma’s suggestion that “seducing” the islands to participate might work better than forceful words, prompted the question by Van Tongeren how this could be arranged to get the countries to think about the execution of the Paris Accord and to organise their active participation.

The answer was through good cooperation, replied Dijksma. She said that the Netherlands was willing to provide know-how when this was requested by the countries. Cooperation and the awareness process were important aspects in getting the people to move on this issue, “also on the islands which have not requested to be part as yet.”

Source: The Daily Herald, St. Maarten

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