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
Climate change is not something to be ignored, the lowest lying islands in the world are already experiencing the dramatic effects of an encroaching sea. Coastal people are having to relocate. Corals are being bleached and fish size is decreasing as the result of an increase in water temperature. Unsustainable carbon emissions are to blame. To read more about this story, visit Caribbean 360