Sep 04, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – Recently sworn-in Secretary-General at the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Dr. Carla Barnett has aired her hopefulness for the upcoming 26th United National Conference on Climate Change (COP26). This hallmark conference, which over 100 countries will be attending in Glasgow, Scotland is aimed at discussing how the world can strategically and effectively fight the threats of climate change.
“There is a lot of work that we have to do together and we are organising to do it, but I believe that if we do work together as closely as we can and bring together the science, the organisational, developmental and political spheres that need to come together then we will do the best we can and I am really very hopeful,” the CARICOM SG on the sidelines of an event on Monday.
“We are not sure how that conference will evolve because of the COVID-19 pandemic but we will participate to the full extent that we can,” Dr. Barnett added.
Kaieteur News reported yesterday that Vice President Dr. Bharrat Jagdeo will be leading a high-level delegation to Scotland for this conference. Minister of Natural Resources Vickram Bharrat confirmed this last week.
COP stands for “Conference of the Parties”, which are the signatories of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty agreed in 1994 that has 196 countries and the European Union.
United Nations climate change conferences are among the largest international meetings in the world. The negotiations between governments are complex and involve officials from every country in the world as well as representatives from civil society and the global news media.
One critical objective of this conference is to limit global temperature to 1.5 degrees. Failure to achieve this, according to the United Nations, would achieve widespread and severe impacts on people and nature. A third of the world’s population would be regularly exposed to severe heat, leading to health problems and more heat-related deaths. Almost all warm-water coral reefs would be destroyed, and the Arctic sea ice would melt entirely at least one summer per decade, with devastating impacts on the wildlife and communities they support.
One also cannot rule out the possibility that irreversible loss of ice sheets in Greenland and the Antarctic could be triggered, leading to several metres of sea-level rise over centuries to come. At 1.5°C, the impacts would be serious, but less severe. There would be lower risks of food and water shortages, lower risks to economic growth and fewer species at risk of extinction. Threats to human health from air pollution, disease, malnutrition and exposure to extreme heat would also be lower.
Notably, Advisor to the Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General of the Climate Action Team at the United Nations, Selwin Hart, has issued a clarion call for all global governments to take bolder, ambitious actions to fight climate change and achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
During an interview with United States news agency ABC Network earlier this month, Hart had said the evidence that greenhouse gasses from fossil fuel burning and deforestation are contributing to global warming is “irrefutable”. Further to this, he pointed that these events have placed the lives of billions of people, animals and ecosystems at risk.
“Now is not the time for delay. Now is not the time for excuses. That is why this year’s climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland represents a critical milestone for global efforts to address and defeat climate change. We need all leaders, all countries -rich, poor, big and small- to step up to the play… It is possible [to achieve net-zero]. We have the resources, we have the technologies to do it,” Hart had expressed.
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