Earth warms up; Funding available to counter the Effect Print
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Thursday, 01 August 2013 00:00

L-r - Dr. Kendrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center CCCCC based in Belmopan; Dr. Wendel Parham, Chief Executive Officer within the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development and Olusola Ojo, expert in Rural Development, Food Security and Environment from Nigeria)

There is now sufficient evidence to conclude that the Blue Planet is warming up. This was the conclusion at the recent meeting of experts from the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) held at the San Ignacio Resort Hotel. Dr. Kenrick Leslie, Executive Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) based in Belmopan was non-hesitant to share with the convened experts the most recent data from international institutions.

According to Dr. Leslie, less than a month ago the World Bank released an updated 2013 version of its Climate Report, with the help of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. (The Climate research Center in Potsdam, Germany, is one of the World’s renowned institutions dealing with Climate Change.) The report focuses on the risk of climate change to development in Sub Sahara Asia, South East Asia and South Asia and why a four degree warmer World must be avoided. The World Bank report recommends that while the rise in temperature was not to exceed two degrees Centigrade, the atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration should not exceed 350 parts per million.

“Well, in May of this year, we reached the dubious level of carbon dioxide concentration exceeded for the first time in over a million years, 400 parts per million,” reported Dr. Leslie to the experts meeting in Belize from around the ACP. "

“The increase in average global temperature could be as high as four degrees Celsius; since 2009, we in the Small Island Developing States and least developing countries have been advocating that an increase in excess of one and a half degrees Celsius would be catastrophic to the ACP countries… this is supported by the latest science,” continued Dr. Leslie.

The occasion for Dr. Leslie’s remarks was the First and Second Steering Committee Meeting of the Global Climate Change Alliance (GCCA) Intra African Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP). An implementing body of the Caribbean component of the (GCCA) Intra-ACP is the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center (CCCCC) based in Belmopan, which was officially opened in 2005 and today serves in climate change related policy advice to the Caribbean Community as well as a clearinghouse for data on regional climate.

It can be recalled that two decades ago at the Rio Convention, countries agreed that developed countries will curb consumption and production patterns, maintain developmental goals and would support developing countries through finance, technology transfer and reforms to the global economic and financial structures. While the European Union has fulfilled some of those promises under the GCCA Program, Dr. Leslie confirms that there has to date been little implementation of the agreements at the time to commit 0.7 % of national income to international aid. This pledge has only been met by five countries including the EU.

Nevertheless, coming upstream are a number of new funds to address Climate Change, including 30 billion annually through 2013 and increasing to 100 billion by 2020. One of the new funding coming online by next year is the Green Climate Fund, one of the most recent of Climate Change related funds and is partly a product of the Conference of the Parties 15 held by Developed Countries in Copenhagen in December of 2009.

“The purpose of the Green Fund is to make a significant and ambitious contribution to the global effort towards attaining the goals set by the international community to combat climate change,” states Dr. Leslie.

While the EU has put new and additional funding, some countries have come up with different devices says Doctor Leslie, “….Of including in what is supposed to be new finances to include other things that they have been doing for a long time.”

Belize has already positioned itself to tap into these international resources and is currently working on a number of Climate Change related Projects. As well as being involved with the GCCA Intra-ACP, Belize also participates in another GCCA Project this time being coordinated through the Ministry of Economic Development. A large portion of that project at the Ministry of Economic Development consists of the development of capacities; such as the development of Committees in the areas of mitigation, education and risk assessment as they relate to Climate Change. Dr. Wendel Parham, Chief Executive Officer within the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Sustainable Development tells The Guardian that major work is now underway to examine the resilience of infrastructure within the Country to Climate Change.

Last Updated on Thursday, 01 August 2013 14:04