Caribbean nations ask for help in pursuing alternative energy

The Barbados Advocate: The Barbados Advocate: Representatives from the Caribbean continue to point out at the United Nations the dangers posed to their islands as a result of climate change, such as unpredictable weather and threats to food security, and are asking for help in pursuing alternative sources of energy.

This occurred last week during a three-day thematic debate on climate change in the UN General Assembly, which was entitled “Addressing Climate Change: The United Nations and the World at Work”. During the debate several representatives of small island states spoke of the inequalities of the current framework and lack of plans to address the problems, and argued that it was time to move beyond debate with strong leadership. They also called for developed countries to shoulder their full load.

One of three representatives from the Caribbean making a submission to the debate, Delano Bart of St. Kitts and Nevis noted that some states were still not yet committed to addressing the issue, but stressed that it was time to look at the consequences. He said that unpredictable rainfall and flooding were responsible for eroding topsoil in the region and therefore threatening food security.

Bart also noted that the partnership of industrialised countries was vital to finding a solution, since adequate finances must to flow from those countries to the developing world to address the issues of mitigation and adaptation. Action did not need to wait until the end of negotiations, he said, and to that end, his country sought support in examining alternative sources of energy in the Caribbean. He concluded by underlining the need for all nations to be proactive in the implementation of strategies to mitigate the impending disaster.

The representative from Jamaica, Raymond Wolfe, who aligned himself with previous positions of the Group of 77 and China, the Alliance of Small Island States and the Caribbean Community, noted that development agenda had switched to relief, reconstruction, and rehabilitation, because of the effects of climate change. Wolfe supported calls for significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and urged sates to give high priority to providing new and additional financial resources to support the transfer of climate-friendly technologies. “By working together in a broad global alliance, we can confront – and overcome – our greatest challenges,”he said.

Another representative, Paulette Bethel of the Bahamas, called for the strengthening of the United Nations Development Programme, the United Nations Environment Programme, as well as the small island developing states unit and other parts of the United Nations system in their efforts to assist national adaptation and sustainable development, in general.

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