Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Dr. James L. Fletcher — The Climate Crisis and Small Island Developing States: The Case for Climate Justice

The Climate Crisis and Small Island Developing States: The Case for Climate Justice

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

5:00pm – 6:30pm

Joukowsky Forum, Watson Institute, 111 Thayer Street

Dr. James L. Fletcher, Managing Director of Soloricon, a consulting company that helps Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to pursue a sustainable development pathway, will be discussing in this talk the climate crisis that SIDS face and climate justice possibilities.

James Fletcher was the Minister for Public Service, Information, Broadcasting, Sustainable Development, Energy, Science and Technology in Saint Lucia from 2011 to 2016.

During his tenure, he led an aggressive modernization of the energy sector that included the establishment of a new multi-sector regulator, the drafting and passage of new energy legislation, the commissioning of rooftop solar on government buildings, the replacement of high-pressure sodium streetlights with LED fixtures, the recommencement of geothermal energy exploration, and the attraction of new investments in utility scale wind and solar energy. He also commissioned modern ICT centres in several under-served communities, started a program for free island-wide Wi-Fi, developed a 311 call centre for the public service, initiated major water development projects on the east coast and in the south of the island, and established an Employee Assistance Programme to provide free, confidential counselling to public officers.

James Fletcher played a leading role in the Caribbean’s ‘1.5 to Stay Alive’ civil society campaign and during the COP21 negotiations he was selected by the COP President to be part of the ministerial team that helped to achieve consensus on the elements of the Paris Agreement. He led the Caribbean’s delegation to the COP21 negotiations. He was recognized by Global Optimism in Profiles of Paris as one of the people who played a key role in creating the historic Paris Agreement. In 2019, he was selected by the United Kingdom’s Chevening Scholarship Program as one of 35 Global Changemakers.

At different points in his career, James Fletcher has served in the Government of Saint Lucia as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Permanent Secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Secretary and head of the public service. He was also the Director of Social and Sustainable Development at the OECS Commission. He currently manages his own consulting company, SOLORICON. He wrote and published the book Governing in a Small Caribbean Island State, he authored the chapter ‘The Battle for Small Island Developing States’ in the Cambridge University Press publication ‘Negotiating the Paris Agreement: The Insider Stories’, and he edited and published “Where is the Justice? An Anthology of Caribbean Youth Perspectives on the Climate Crisis”. In 2020, he launched The Caribbean Climate Justice Project, which advocates for climate justice for the people most impacted by climate change.

James Fletcher holds a PhD degree in Crop Physiology from the University of Cambridge and a BSc (Hons) in Biochemistry from the University of Ottawa.