Sunday, September 30, 2007

Island nations tell UN powerful states must show leadership on climate change

UN News: The greatest burden in the global fight against climate change should be borne by the world’s powerful countries, which are also often the leading producers of greenhouse gas emissions, the leaders of several island nations told the General Assembly today.

Addressing the Assembly’s annual high-level debate, the representatives also called on affluent nations to increase their level of spending towards an adaptation fund to help the most vulnerable States adjust their economies and infrastructure to cope with the impact of global warming….

Winston Baldwin Spencer, Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, said the collective response to climate change “represents a monumental test of the political will and courage of humanity in general, but especially of the political leaders of the most powerful countries.” He also urged greater spending on the adaptation fund, noting that small island States were among the most vulnerable in the world – to natural disasters as much as climate change. “Because of our size and the nature of our primary economic activity, the infrastructure of an entire country can be destroyed by, for example, the passage of a single hurricane,” he said.

…Jose Maria Pereria Neves, the Prime Minister of Cape Verde, said climate change has its greatest impact on small island developing States, which are ill-equipped to cope. “If the projections of sea-level rise prove to be true, we will be facing a disaster of unimaginable proportions,” he warned. Cape Verde, a small archipelago, has been confronted with drought, desertification and “almost uninterrupted dramatic water shortages” for three decades, he said….

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