Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2019. 11:33 am CST.
By BBN Staff: Belize’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wilfred Elrington, was among the speakers at a high-level meeting at the United Nations General Assembly calling for countries which are most responsible for global carbon emissions to take more action and fight climate change.
Elrington was speaking at the mid-year review of the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (SAMOA) Pathway. It is a 10-year plan launched in 2014 to address challenges faced by small islands.
Elrington stressed that scientific evidence, such as the latest special report on the ocean and cryosphere from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which projects that some 65 million island inhabitants are facing risks of massive flooding, is proof that more needs to be done by larger countries to help fight climate change.
“Our beaches are disappearing, our drinking water is being salinized, our oceans and seas are warming, acidifying and deoxygenating threatening our reefs and our fisheries. And if we are not experiencing more frequent flooding events, we are experiencing extreme drought events,” Elrington said. “Any one of us could be the next to face a Category 5 hurricane or cyclone. We are the ground zero of a global climate and biodiversity crisis.”
Elrington was joined by Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley, who warned that larger countries can expect to see massive inflows of immigrants if the climate crisis is not adequately handled; and Guyana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Karen Cummings said that, even with their limited resources, SIDS have been doing their part in the fight against climate change.
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