Press Release

Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Climate Change
Premier's Office
Climate Change
Release Date:
Wednesday, 27 September 2023 - 11:29am

Premier and Minister responsible for Climate Change, Honourable Dr. Natalio Wheatley has called for nations which are contributing heavily to greenhouse gas emissions to be as ambitious as possible in meeting targets to reverse the ill effects of climate change.

Premier Wheatley, during an interview with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) presenters Jeanne Scutner and Devina Gupta on the programme Newsday last Saturday said those nations who are big polluters have to recognise the way in which their decisions, actions, and economies function affect the rest of the world.

The Premier stressed the need for world leaders to recognise climate change as an existential threat to the planet and as such, keep the threat of climate change in proper perspective.                                  

Premier Wheatley said the Caribbean is one of the regions of the world most vulnerable to climate change.

“Its large coastal populations and exposed location leave it at the mercy of rising sea levels, stronger hurricanes and worsening floods and drought,” the Premier said. He added, “Increasing temperatures, meanwhile, threaten its unique biodiversity, including coral reefs, and create human health impacts.”

Premier Wheatley added, “Despite its tiny contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions, the Caribbean region is already bearing the brunt of climate disruptions, putting many of its tourism-dependent countries deeply in debt and spurring increased migration across the region.”

Signaling that there does not have to be choice between economic development and climate change mitigation, the Premier highlighted that, “We can't build economies of the past...we can't take the example of those big nations who have polluted the planet, we have to build economies of the future”.

Meanwhile, the Government of the Virgin Islands is taking steps to increase its resilience to the impacts of climate change through implementation of the Virgin Islands Climate Change Adaptation Policy with the target of replacing 30% of the national electricity supply with renewable energy expected to be achieved by 2025. The Government also continues work to operationalise The Virgin Islands Climate Change Trust Fund which was legally established in March 2015.

The Trust Fund is an independent entity dedicated to raising, managing and disbursing funds to qualified applicants to build resilience to climate change impacts and to reduce carbon emissions. The fund will support implementation of the Territory’s Climate Change Policy and can support actions by Government, the private sector and civil society.





Berta McKelly Adams

Assistant Information Officer
Department of Information & Public Relations 
Telephone: 468-2740