Friday, December 18, 2009

Bahamas vulnerable

Nikia Deveaux in the Bahama Journal: Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham told nearly 100 world leaders yesterday that The Bahamas is the fifth most vulnerable country to sea level rise and noted that further temperature increases would cause sea levels to rise, submerging 80 per cent of the territory.

Mr. Ingraham was giving his address at the United Nations’ 15th Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. The prime minister said only a collective international response to climate change would ensure the safety of the most vulnerable countries like The Bahamas.

"A temperature rise of two degrees Celsius will result in sea level rise of two meters and will submerge 80 per cent of our territory," he said. It will drastically affect the health of our coral reef system; hence our strongest support for the AOSIS’ call for ‘1.5 Celsius to Stay Alive’."

….Mr. Ingraham noted that funding will be critical to the success of emission reduction, and added that funding will assist countries like The Bahamas in other areas related to climate, such as destructive tropical hurricanes.

"We ask the developed world to support the efforts of small, vulnerable states such as ours by increasing and simplifying access to financing to modernize our electrical infrastructure, produce smarter electricity grids, adopt renewable technology and implement environmentally sound planning and development strategies for coastal and wetland protection," he said.

"In particular, when funding mechanisms for mitigation and adaptation are agreed, special account must be taken of the vulnerability of small, low lying island states." Mr. Ingraham said he cannot overemphasize the urgency for the development of specific mechanisms so that the country can access new, innovative and environmentally-sound capacity building….

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