- Thematic Plenary I – Adaptation – From Vulnerability to Resilience.
Facilitator is Dr. Asha-Rose migiro Deputy Secretary General
Co chaired by H.E Mr. Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark,
and HE Owen Arthur, Prime minister of Barbados.
Tweets here, and this post will be added to as the conference continues.
During the meeting, presidents and prime ministers addressed the panel; speaking about their individual countries. Some of them mentioned how they were adapting (Netherlands, Mauritius and others) to climate change while others highlighted their major challenges. By and large most of the leaders acknowledged that climate change poses a serious threat to the planet. However, there was one exception. The delegate of the Czech republic said that he did not believe the Inter Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was balanced noting that there is no scientific consensus on climate change and that the UN should set up a panel to investigate the corollary arguments and conclusions made by the IPCC. He clearly does not believe that global warming is a problem. There was a light moment with applause when he joked that people need to save more energy and cool the room.
The delegates from African countries all gave examples of the effects on climate change in their respective countries. The following statement by the president of Ghana in large part mirrors observations by the other African leaders about what the current situation is.
In Africa and other poor developing countries, climate change is already making it difficult to guarantee the necessities fo life. These countries, including my own Ghana, are already feeling the impact of change resulting from our oft misinformed handlign of our environments and also from the effluence caused by the industrialized nations. Erratic rainfall patterns, droughts and desertification, floods and other weather related disasters are directly endangering human life and affecting agricultural productivity, food and water security.
There were a few examples of how countries have been able to adapt to climate change. The PM of Netherlands pointed out that his country has been adapting to severe environmental effects for a long time, by developing and implementing innovative solutions such as advanced water management, building of dykes and floating houses.
Other examples of what can be done to adapt to climate change: Re-forestation, use of renewable energy such as wind, solar and biomass (mentioned by representatives from Mauritius and madagascar). Island states are also very vulnerable to the effects of climate change, and the PM of Barbados mentioned during his closing remarks that it is a matter of survival to deal with Climate change.
Tweets of Part II are here
Note: Earlier this year, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report that mentioned that climate change will likely have a ‘graver effect’ on Africa.
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