CMC - A United Nations (UN) official Monday listed a Caribbean country
among global states with a high per capita carbon emission rate even as
she noted that climate change is
beginning to impact on the region's development.
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's release of the United Nations Human Development 2007/08 Report, Dr Rosina Wiltshire, the United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) permanent representative to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, said energy-rich Trinidad and Tobago's per capita carbon emission is higher than that for the world's highest carbon dioxide generator.
Wiltshire said while the United States, which generates over six million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year is the leading contributor to the world's carbon footprint, followed by China, Trinidad and Tobago
has a higher per capita carbon dioxide emission based on its relatively small population of 1.1 million.
"The US per capita emission is 20.6 tonnes, for Trinidad and Tobago it is 24.9 tonnes. Barbados is 4.4 and we have figures for some of the other countries with t Vincent being 1.7 tonnes," Wiltshire said.
The UNDP official said the report sounds a warning that global warming can halt progress and reverse some of the advances made by regional countries.
"What this report tells us is that while Barbados and the rest of the developing world are not contributing significantly to climate change, the global impact of lifestyles and development trajectory of the
richest countries threaten to overturn everything that we have gained," she said, pointing to rising sea levels and the increase in global temperatures as some of the manifestations.
She said the UN report which currently measures developmental factors such as lifestyle expectancy, educational attainment and real income of nationals in 177 countries worldwide, also points to the need for a rethink of the models of development being pursued.
"The report challenges us to look at what we consider to be development and success either at the individual or at the national level and it challenges us to review the ethical and value base that
currently guides our present path to what we call development.
"It calls on the church to come together regardless of denomination to wake up the world because we are facing global disasters and even religious communities have something to say about our stewardship of
the earth and our responsibility roe ah other as human beings.
"It also calls on the media to wake up the people of the works, because even though we are headed to global catastrophe, a survey of global states reveal that people are not ware of what is going on
around them," she added, noting that for Caribbean people the negative effects of global warning were already being felt.
Wiltshire said she was happy that regional states were at the forefront of the battle against global states and urged that efforts continue to place the issues on the global agenda.
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