What was previously the Ministry of Natural Resources and Labour, will now be the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as a new standalone ministry under the remit of the Premier and Minister of Finance, Dr the Hon Natalio D. Wheatley (R7).
This comes as the Virgin Islands (VI) embarks on a drive to respond to climate change and environment challenges as well as the issues surrounding the two areas.
The announcement was made by the Premier during a press briefing and update on his recent trip to the UK held today, May 16, 2023, where he added that the decision to establish the ministry came after internal consultations on the matter.
“After careful consideration and internal consultations, my administration has made an adjustment to the initial ministerial portfolios announced after the General Election. I'm pleased to report that we have established the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment as a Ministry in its own right,” Dr Wheatley announced,
“That stands separately from the Premier's office, I will serve as minister over this portfolio. This demonstrates the importance we assigned to the environment and all the critical issues involved and it's preservation and sustainable use as well as the existential threat of climate change,” he added.
Mangroves in the VI. Premier Natalio D.
Wheatley said he is looking forward to the ministry’s establishment of a
Department of Climate Change and Environment to respond to the needs
mentioned, including climate change.
Dept of Climate Change to come
Meanwhile, the Premier said he is looking forward to the ministry’s establishment of a Department of Climate Change and Environment to respond to the needs mentioned, including climate change.
Since 2015, the VI had placed an emphasis on responding to the challenges of climate change through the establishment of the Virgin Islands
Climate Change Trust Fund in March of 2025.
When questioned, the Premier detailed that Natural Resources will still fit into the new ministry, however, the New Ministry of Climate Change and Environment is more a renaming of the previous ministry to focus on matters relating to the sector.