Jamaica Gleaner News
"The world is running a serious fever, we are overloading it with carbon emissions."
This is one of the key findings of the 2007-2008 United Nations Development Programme's (UNDP) Human Development Report, officially released in Jamaica yesterday at the Knutsford Court Hotel in St. Andrew.
The launch of the report titled 'Fighting Climate Change: Human Solidarity in a Divided World', coincided with the meeting of government heads in Bali, Indonesia, to formulate an international approach to climate change.
Resident representative of the UNDP in Jamaica, Minh Pham, in summarising the findings of the report, noted that global warming was real and a man-made phenomenon. He said the scientific body of work by the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), established a direct connection between human development and climate change.
Impact on Jamaica
Pham noted that Jamaica will be affected by climate change in many ways:
First, as temperatures rise, there will be more periods of drought and severe flooding, which will affect agriculture and Jamaica's export earnings.
Second, sea levels will rise and this will increase the energy of the sea, resulting in more violent hurricanes. It will also lead to serious beach erosion, which will affect a third of all Caribbean beaches.
Third, an increase in the spread of diseases such as dengue and malaria, is also predicted.
United Nations Environmental (UNEP) Coordinator, Nelson Andrade, reemphasised the imminent danger of climate change. Highlighting economic issues created by severe droughts or hurricanes that place a burden on the population and have serious implications for the agricultural sector, he said, "When we don't have food, we have a problem."
Laurence Broderick, Minister of State in the Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommuni-cations, said he was a new convert to environmental matters.
Mr. Broderick said only 60 per cent of the island's waste was collected; the remaining 40 per cent could be found in rivers and gullies.
Professor Anthony Chen, who was a member of the IPCC, noted that there was a 66 per cent probability that human activity contributed to the intensity of tropical cyclones.
Regarding predictions for the future of the planet, Minh Pham noted: "The future generation will judge us harshly if we look at the evidence and do nothing. We could condemn the future generation to poverty, and (an) unproductive life, and ecological disaster."
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