Caribbean concerned about its survival in face of climate change


Caribbean countries attending the UN Climate Change conference in the Arab state of Qatar have voiced concern about their existence and survivability against the impact of climate change including soaring temperatures and rising sea levels, Caribbean 360 reports.

The failure of the on-going UN Climate Change conference to address important issues will lead to serious consequences for the existence of Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and other vulnerable communities around the world, Barbados Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister, Maxine McClean said Wednesday.

“We are not fully convinced that our negotiating partners fully understand what they are requesting of us when they seek our acquiescence to their demands,” she said while addressing the high-level session of the conference now into its final week.

“If we are to do what is right, we cannot continue on our current path. The time for procrastination is over. We cannot afford the luxury of further denial. We must respond with ambition and at a pace that is now beyond urgent. The time for incremental and piecemeal solutions is long past, “said Mc Clean.

Jamaica’s Minister of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Robert Pickersgill said climate change is attacking the economy and natural environment of the Caribbean country.

Since 2001, Jamaica has lost an annual average of two per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in damage and other losses associated with hurricanes, floods and drought. The cumulative cost of the damage and loss has been estimated at over one billion US dollars.

Caribbean countries, under the umbrella group, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) have called for more ambitious emission reduction commitments than that which are on offer by all developed countries including those undertaking a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol and enhancing mitigation ambition to ensure countries are on track to achieve a goal below two degrees.

The Caribbean also joined with other developing countries in seeking clarity on the delivery of scaled up finance after the end of the Fast Start finance period in three weeks and have secured support from other developing nations in calling for an international institutional anchor to address loss and damage from climate change.

“Since we have no control over stopping impacts such as acidification or increased water temperatures, then it is only just and fair that those who continue to ignore the obvious signs and this impose this burden on us, begin to be held accountable for the havoc they are unleashing on us small islands, “said Pickersgill.

Recalling the recent World Bank report which points to a possible 4 degree world, the Jamaican minister said such a scenario will affect all countries of the world.

“You see my friends, we are all adrift in the same boat and half the boat won’t sink, the entire boat will. We are all in this together, “he said.

Grenada’s Minister of the Environment, Foreign Trade and Export Development, George Prime, told delegates his country faces the threat of a serious drought next year, which will follow on the heels of a 2010 drought and devastating hurricanes in 2004 and 2005.

Damage caused by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 amounted to 200 percent of the country’s gross domestic product.

“Grenada has now experienced two, once-in-50-years storms within one year of each other and is facing two once-in-50-years droughts within three years of each other,” he told the high-level session.

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One thought on “Caribbean concerned about its survival in face of climate change

  1. Reblogged this on bearspawprint and commented:
    The loss of local agriculture and food indepedense with the outsourcing of food supplies would lend emphasis to future insecurity. If food independence and crop diversity could be regained, the future would not seem so frightening.——-Granny

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