Sunday, November 15, 2009

Climate-vulnerable countries send SOS over climate change

Ahead of the forthcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, the world's most climate-vulnerable countries have called on the developed countries to provide money amounting to at least 1.5 per cent of their gross domestic product to assist developing countries make their transition to a climate resilient low-carbon economy.

Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Kiribati, Barbados, The Maldive Island, Bhutan, Ghana, Rwanda, Kenya and Tanzania, popularly known as the V11, are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change but they are also among the lowest greenhouse gas emitters.

There are growing fears that some of them, like the Maldives, could disappear within a century.

The call was made Friday at a two-day meeting organised by the government of Maldives, a member of the Climate Neutral Network, according to a news release issued Saturday by the Nairobi-based United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), made available to PANA.

According to UNEP, the meeting highlighted the countries' concerns and determina tion to "green" their economies.

However, the outcome of the meeting did not quite live up to the expectations of its chief organiser, President Mohamed Nasheed of Maldives, who had hoped the countries attending the forum would commit to become carbon neutral within a decade.

In March, Nasheed announced plans to make his own country the world's first carbon-neutral nation by 2019 and last month, he announced the construction of a wind farm that can supply 40 per cent of the country's electricity.

The President has been an active spokesperson for the island states, many of which are now threatened by rising sea levels.

Earlier this year, Nasheed took part in a public service announcement (PSA) organised by UNEP, which called for world leaders to seal the deal in the climate negotiations in Copenhagen next month.

Shot in six locations and across four continents, the videos launched in September feature President Nasheed; Hollywood actor, Don Cheadle; Nobel Laureate, Professor Wangari Maathai; UN Messenger of Peace, Midori Goto; Animal Planet presenter and environmentalist, Phillipe Cousteau and wildlife film maker, Saba Douglas-Hamilton.

In May, the Maldives became the seventh country to join the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net), a UNEP initiative launched in February 2008 to promote global transition to low-carbon economies and societies.

The Climate Neutral Network also includes cities, regions, companies and organisations.

Last month, Nasheed staged the world's first underwater cabinet meeting to promote awareness about rising sea levels.

The V11 group of states said achieving carbon neutrality for developing countries will be very difficult, given their lack of resources.

The question will be on the table in just three weeks at the UN climate summit in Copenhagen.


1 comment:

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