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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on December 11th, 2013
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

ENJOY AND BE MERRY – ONLY IN MODERN BIZANTINE WASHINGTON DC OF 2013 CAN THIS FLY AS AN ALLIANCE OF INTERESTS.

 

You are invited

To the
THE NATURAL GAS ROUNDTABLE HOLIDAY RECEPTION!

Cocktails, Hors D’oeuvres
Thursday, December 12, 2013
6:00 – 8:00 pm
at the Embassy of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
1708 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC, 20036
Sponsored by:
American Gas Association (AGAthat when dominated by Mobil Oil used to fight the introduction of the Natural Gas that they were established with intent to support – i.e. they did not support use of CNG motor-vehicles), American Petroleum Institute (API – Washington DC based – all out oil), American Public Gas Association (regulated utilities), America’s Natural Gas Alliance, Ballard Spahr LLP, Business Council for Sustainable Energy (Geneva based – so far positive industry lobby established for the Rio UNCED in 1992), Center for Liquefied Natural Gas (a shipping interest), Chevron, Concentric Energy Advisors, Deloitte Services LP, Edison Electric Institute (established by the nuclear lobby), Embassy of Canada (with pipeline interests), Independent Petroleum Association of America, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (clearly not a decentralization proponent), National Ocean Industries Association (?fisheries?), National Propane Gas Association (petroleum refinery dependent – no relative of natural gas or biogas), Natural Gas Supply Association, NGVAmerica (Natural Gas or CNG motor-Vehicles), NiSource Inc, North American Energy Standards Board, Shell Oil Company, Williams, World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADEbased in Edinburgh – wind-mill operators or renewable energy proponents?).

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on October 26th, 2012
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

from Nona Pelletier  –   
PORT-OF-SPAIN—October 26, 2012—The Government of Trinidad and Tobago is co-hosting a meeting of developing country negotiators with the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), the CARICOM Secretariat and the South Centre, to share information and develop strategies that further common development goals.

The Sixth Annual Forum of Developing Country Investment Negotiators takes place in Port-of-Spain from October 29-31, 2012, and is expected to draw over 70 participants from Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, representing over 30 countries.

Several regional and international organizations are also attending, including the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the Commonwealth Secretariat, the Caribbean Association of Investment Promotion Agencies (CAIPA), the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

The theme of this year’s event is “understanding and harnessing new models for investment and sustainable development”.

The forum is part of an ongoing effort to help developing countries incorporate sustainable development issues into their international investment treaty negotiations, such as those now underway between CARICOM and Canada.

This year’s forum focuses on how to ensure the developmental goals and objectives of developing countries are promoted by international, regional and bilateral investment agreements.

The forum builds upon the successes of the five previous forums held in Singapore (2007), Morocco (2008), Ecuador (2009), India (2010) and Uganda (2011).

This event responds to a growing demand from developing countries for a counterbalance to the OECD Investment Committee as a place for developed country negotiators and policy-makers on investment. The forums have created a space for developing countries to freely consider and develop their own negotiating priorities and goals in relation to international investment treaties.

For over ten years, IISD has been providing technical assistance to investment negotiators across the developing world and the demand for our services has been growing in recent years. In order to maximize the sharing of experience—positive and negative—IISD decided to convene an annual forum of investment negotiators from developing countries.

This is the first time the annual forum will be held in the Caribbean region.

For more information on previous events, please visit www.iisd.org/investment/dci/
or contact Flavia Thomé at fthome@iisd.org
or Yolande Agard-Simmons at Agard-SimmonsY@gov.tt.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on February 17th, 2011
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

The International Institute for Environment and Development is proud to announce our latest climate change related policy briefing

  Climate change economics on a small island: new approaches for Tobago

For small islands like Tobago — that depend heavily on tourism driven by their natural ‘beauty’ — climate change poses a double-edged threat on supply and demand. Rising sea levels, increasing temperatures and more frequent and intense storms will damage the island’s natural assets, such as coral reefs and beaches. This could have a heavy impact on tourism, which will also be affected by climate policy in ‘source’ countries. But what exactly will that impact be? How much will it cost? And what can be done about it? Traditional economic analysis is ill-equipped to answer these questions because it offers static and highly uncertain models and assessments of damage and loss, rather than flexible response options that consider system dynamics. We urgently need to use and expand new forms of economic analysis to better support the difficult decisions that Caribbean policymakers~face as a result of climate change.

Download the paper from  pubs.iied.org/17087IIED.html

 

 from:    Vanessa Mcleod-Kourie

Publications & Marketing Manager
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) 

3 Endsleigh Street
London
WC1H 0DD
United Kingdom

tel: + 44 (0)20 7872 7346

fax: + 44 (0)20 7388 2826

www.iied.org

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 10th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) hosts Regional Workshop on Economics of Climate Adaptation.

CCRIF has recently launched a project to produce a quantitative knowledge base for key climate change risks and adaptation strategies for decision making across the region, building on and contributing to the Review of the Economics of Climate Change (RECC) process. Caribbean Catastrophe Risk Insurance Facility (CCRIF) hosts RegionalWorkshop on Economics of Climate Adaptation On 12 and 13 May, over 50 representatives from Caribbean governments and international agencies met in Barbados to discuss the initial results from a recent investigation into the Economics of Climate Adaptation (ECA) in the Caribbean. This study, part of CCRIF’s technical assistance programme, will enhance the development of a fact base for developing sound climate change adaptation strategies in the region.

Since the launch of the project in February, a team composed of Caribbean Risk Managers on behalf of CCRIF, the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (5C’s) and other regional partners, has been intensely involved in data collection and

analysis for a number of countries with analytical support provided by McKinsey & Company and Swiss Re. The workshop, which was held at the Caribbean Development Bank, provided an introduction to the Economics of Climate Adaptation approach and its application in the Caribbean and focussed on sharing the findings of the study with the participants examining the key insights and results for wind, sea level rise/coastal flooding, inland flooding and salinisation of groundwater.

The final outputs of this study will include a risk baseline which will provide transparency about current and future expected
losses from climate risks under three climate change scenarios; and assessment of adaptation measures – identification of feasible and applicable measures to adapt to the expected risks based on quantitative analysis of total cost and expected benefits of risk mitigation and transfer measures.

The results of the study will assist decision makers throughout the Caribbean region in defining and developing sound adaptation strategies and business cases which can be incorporated into national development plans. The recent Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen reconfirmed the commitment to provide funding and technical assistance for climate adaptation
to developing countries. The ECA study will help Caribbean leaders develop programmes that will be strong candidates for adaptation assistance.

The innovation of the ECA methodology lies in its positioning across different knowledge sectors, spanning climate science, the financial industry and economic research. The analysis is based on joining four main elements:
1. Climate change scenarios based on the most recent available scientific evidence.
2. Hazard models forecasting the occurrence of hurricanes or other damaging events.
3. Economic damage functions linking the intensity of events to economic impact.
4. Value distribution models describing each country’s economic and population exposure to hazards in a granular, precise way.

Hurricanes can be dangerous, listening to the hurricane warning messages and planning ahead can reduce the chances of injury or major property damage.
BEFORE:
Know your Emergency Shelters Contact the National Disaster Office for the closest shelters. Have disaster supplies on hand
Flashlight and extra batteries; Portable, battery-operated radio and extra batteries; First aid kit; Non-perishable (canned food) and water; Non-electric can opener; Essential medicines; Cash and
credit cards; Sturdy shoes Protect your windows: Permanent shutters are the best protection. A lower-cost approach is to put up
plywood panels. Trim back branches from trees: Trim branches away from your home and cut all dead or weak branches
on any trees on your property.

Check into your Home and Auto Insurance: Confirm that policies are valid and coverage is appropriate.

Make arrangements for pets and livestock: Pets may not be allowed into emergency shelters for health and space reasons. Contact your local humane society for information on animal shelters.

Develop an emergency communication plan: Make sure that all family members know what to do. Teach family members how and when to turn off gas, electricity, and water. Teach children how and when to call police or fire department and which radio station to tune to for emergency information.

Hurricane Watches and Warnings:
A hurricane watch is issued when there is a threat of hurricane conditions within 24-36 hours. A hurricane warning is issued when hurricane conditions (winds of 74 miles per hour or greater, or dangerously high water and rough seas) are expected in 24 hours or less.

DURING A HURRICANE WATCH:
Listen to the radio or television for hurricane progress reports
Check emergency supplies
Fuel car
Bring in outdoor objects such as lawn furniture, toys, and garden tools and anchor objects that cannot
be brought inside
Secure buildings by closing and boarding up windows
Remove outside antennas and satellite dishes
Turn refrigerator and freezer to coldest settings. Open only when absolutely necessary and close
quickly
Store drinking water in clean jugs, bottles, and cooking utensils.

DURING A HURRICANE WARNING:
If you need to evacuate your home, lock up home and go to the nearest shelter
Take blankets and sleeping bags to shelter
Listen constantly to a radio or television for official instructions
Store valuables and personal papers in a waterproof container on the highest level of your home
Stay inside, away from windows, skylights, and glass doors
Keep a supply of flashlights and extra batteries handy
Avoid open flames, such as candles and kerosene lamps, as a source of light
If power is lost, turn off major appliances to reduce power “surge” when electricity is restored.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on July 5th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

We have received the following Earth Conscious Magazine File from our UNEP – Caribbean Contacts and thought this is a worthwhile Magazine that will be liked by our readers. This posting is intended so that we transmit the link to the Magazine File.

Sent by: hutchlin@gmail.com
File
Earth Conscious June 2010.pdf

Link to file:
rcpt.yousendit.com/903504945/9e68dae5dc1dc2a6b88e47bfdd9b433a
File too big for email? Try at www.yousendit.com


EARTH CONSCIOUS MAGAZINE

Editor: Linda Hutchinson-Jafar


Contributors:
Bogusia Sipiora
Garfield King
Barbara King
Mark Meredith
Jordan Jafar
Danielle Nierenberg
Ramanathan Menon


Design and layout:
Karibgraphics Ltd.

is published by:
Caribbean PR Agency
#268 Harold Fraser Circular, Valsayn, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.
T/F: (868) 645-0368

prservices@caribbeanpragency.com
www.caribbeanpragency.com
www.earthconsciousmagazine.com




###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on May 24th, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

UNEP leads 27 countries of the Wider Caribbean on  “land-based pollution” at an International Maritime Organization (IMO) meeting in Panama City based on the ISTAC of Kingston, Jamaica (Interim Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee to the Cartagena Convention. Will they touch nevertheless the menacing Deep-Water Oil-Well Blow-Out?

from: James Sniffen <sniffenj@un.org>

UNEP/CEP PRESS RELEASE: REGIONAL GOVERNMENT POLLUTION EXPERTS MEET IN PANAMA.

Panama City, 24th May, 2010:

Over 50 pollution control experts from 27 countries of the Wider Caribbean
gather today (Monday 24th May) in Panama City at the invitation of the
United Nations Environment Programme’s Caribbean Environment Programme
(UNEP CEP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO).

The gathering of experts for the 5th Meeting of the Interim Scientific, Technical and Advisory Committee (ISTAC) to the Protocol concerning pollution from land-based sources, commonly known as the LBS Protocol, will last for five days.  The CEP is the Secretariat for this Protocol and is based in Kingston, Jamaica.

The LBS Protocol is one of three agreements under the Convention for the
Protection and Development of the Marine Environment in the Wider Caribbean
Region (the Cartagena Convention).  It establishes regional guidelines and
standards for reducing the impact of pollution on the coastal and marine
environment, and on human health.   Over 80% of the pollution of the marine
environment of the Wider Caribbean is estimated to originate from land
based sources and activities.

Panama, the host country, is one of only six countries to have ratified the LBS Protocol.  The others are Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, Saint Lucia, France and the United States.  Discussions during the meeting will focus on measures to increase the region’s commitment to ratify the Protocol, and have it enter into force and become international law as soon as possible.

In support of regional cooperation, UNEP CEP is partnering with the IMO and their joint Regional Activity Centre for Oil Spills (RAC REMPEITC) to bring together experts from environmental agencies, maritime authorities and port administrations for this 5th LBS ISTAC.

Delegates are expected to identify practical measures to improve the implementation of marine environmental agreements including the IMO London Convention on the control of pollution from dumping of wastes at sea and the MARPOL Convention on the prevention of pollution of the marine environment by ships.

According to Nelson Andrade, Coordinator of UNEP CEP”   “It is vital that
Governments adopt a more integrated approach to reducing pollution from
land and marine based sources”.  He noted that the continued partnership
between UNEP and IMO will help to effectively implement the Cartagena
Convention and its three Protocols and to reduce marine contamination.

Meeting Participants are also expected to review recent achievements of the
UNEP CEP to reduce and control marine pollution and to endorse a new work
plan and budget for 2010-2011.

For additional information, please contact:

Christopher Corbin,Programme Officer,
Assessment and Management of Environment Pollution (AMEP),
Regional Co-ordinating Unit, UNEP CEP
Kingston, Jamaica
Telephone: (876) 922-9267 — Fax: (876) 922-9292
www.cep.unep.org; cjc@cep.unep.org;

About UNEP’s Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) –  The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) established the Caribbean Environment Programme (CEP) in 1976 under the framework of its Regional Seas Programme.   It was based on the importance and value of the Wider Caribbean Region’s fragile and vulnerable coastal and marine ecosystems including an abundant and mainly endemic flora and fauna,

A Caribbean Action Plan was adopted by the Caribbean countries and led to the adoption, in 1983, of the only current regional, legally-binding agreement for the protection of the marine environment, the Cartagena Convention.  The Convention and its first Protocol (Oil Spill) entered into force in 1986.

Two other protocols were developed by the region – the Protocols on Special Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) and the Control of Pollution from Land Based Sources (LBS) in 1990 and 1999 respectively.

The SPAW Protocol entered into force in 2000, whereas three ratifying countries are still needed for the LBS Protocol.

The Caribbean Regional Coordinating Unit (UNEP-CAR/RCU) serves as the Secretariat to the Cartagena Convention and is based in Kingston, Jamaica.

Each Protocol is served by a Regional Activity Centre.  These Centres are
based in the Netherlands Antilles (Regional Marine Pollution Emergency
Information and Training Center for the Wider Caribbean, RAC/REMPEITC) for
the Oil Spills Protocol, Guadeloupe (RAC/SPAW) for the SPAW Protocol, Cuba
(Centre of Engineering and Environmental Management of Coasts and Bays) and
Trinidad & Tobago (Institute of Marine Affairs) for the LBS Protocol.

*****
Jim Sniffen
Programme Officer
UN Environment Programme
New York
tel: +1-212-963-8094/8210
info@nyo.unep.org
www.nyo.unep.org

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 30th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

From Reuters – November 30, 2009: Despite Momentum, No Smooth Path To Climate Deal as seen from The Commonwealth high-level meeting in Port of Spain. Denmark’s Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen walks with France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, November 27, 2009.

PORT OF SPAIN, by Pascal Fletcher, Reuters – Commonwealth states representing a third of the world’s people said on Sunday momentum was growing toward a global climate deal, but nagging doubts remained over funding levels and degrees of commitment.

Seeking to successfully tip the outcome of U.N. climate talks on December 7-18 in Copenhagen, the group of more than 50 nations from across the world made the climate change issue the centerpiece of a three-day summit in Trinidad and Tobago.

They declared firm support for an “operationally binding” deal to be achieved in Copenhagen that would cover tougher greenhouse gas emissions targets, climate adaptation financing for poorer nations and transfer of clean-energy technology.

The Commonwealth group, which welcomed Rwanda as its 54th member, called for a full legally binding climate treaty to be adopted “no later than 2010” and insisted fast funding be made available to poor states to counter the global warming threat.

Commonwealth leaders hailed the consensus achieved in their Port of Spain Climate Change Declaration as improving the odds for a comprehensive agreement in Copenhagen and as proof that their geographically diverse group was a viable institution.

“There is heavy traffic on the road to Copenhagen. The good news is that it is converging and hopefully moving purposefully into a single lane,” Commonwealth Secretary-General Kamalesh Sharma said in comments closing the Port of Spain summit.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and the presidents of Denmark and France, had participated in the Commonwealth summit, adding weight to the group’s climate deliberations.

“I have no doubt it will make an impact on Copenhagen,” South African President Jacob Zuma told reporters.

But even as the Commonwealth leaders were congratulating themselves on their climate consensus, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was declaring in China that pledges made so far by governments to cut greenhouse gases were not sufficient for an effective pact to fight global warming.

“If you sum up all the commitments made so far, according to our estimates, we are not yet where we should be if we want Copenhagen to succeed,” said Barroso, who will attend a European Union-China summit in Nanjing on Monday.

“There is still much work to be done,” acknowledged Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Port of Spain.

——

COSTS OF CLIMATE DEAL

Although prospects for a broad political framework pact on climate change were brightened last week by public promises of greenhouse gas curbs by leading emitters China and the United States, Barroso’s blunt comments delivered a reality check on the contentious path to next month’s Copenhagen talks.

The world’s industrialized powers are under pressure to make substantial cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions.

At the same time, developing countries, including tiny island states which risk disappearing if ocean levels continue to rise through global warming, are clamoring for tens of billions of dollars of aid to help them fight climate change.

Developed countries like Britain and France put an offer of a $10-billion-a-year Copenhagen Launch Fund on the table, but while developing countries welcomed what they called this “interim financing” they said much more, perhaps up to $300 billion, might be needed to make a global climate deal work.

Canada, whose conservative government has been accused of dragging its feet on global warming, cautiously announced it would make “minor adjustments” in its existing plan to cut greenhouse gases by 20 percent by 2020 from 2006 levels.

This responded to a pledge by U.S. President Barack Obama last week to reduce his country’s emissions by roughly 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

Reflecting the sensitivity of emissions cuts in industrialized economies, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper explained why his country needed to keep its emissions goals in line with its U.S. neighbor.

“If the United States is making the same kinds of reductions that we are, yes, these still have costs, but they don’t have costs that cause Canadian industry to relocate south of the border,” he told reporters in Port of Spain.

“So I think modest achievable targets, particularly in the short term, will get the planet on the right track,” he added — a position that counters calls from many quarters for much more substantial emissions cuts to make a climate pact viable.

Despite the doubts, small island states that make up nearly half of the Commonwealth said the Port of Spain summit had addressed the risk some of them faced of being swamped by rising sea levels unless global warming was checked.

“We need world attention and this conference made it possible for our voice to be heard,” Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister Michael Somare said.

——————-

SPACE WIRE
UN chief to visit Trinidad for climate talks

UNITED NATIONS, Nov 20 (AFP) Nov 20, 2009
United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon will head to Trinidad and Tobago next week to discuss climate change with Commonwealth country leaders ahead of a crunch climate summit next month.
“The Secretary-General expects to focus the attention of these leaders on key issues that require their engagement in the climate change negotiations, in particular concerning mitigation and finance,” said UN spokeswoman Michele Montas.

The UN chief will be in Trinidad on November 26 and 27 as international leaders converge on the Caribbean island for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting.

World leaders will gather in Copenhagen from December 6 for a summit to negotiate emission targets and complete a successor agreement to the Kyoto protocol, which expires in 2012.

“The Secretary-General hopes to boost momentum for an ambitious outcome in Copenhagen that will advance international action on climate change,” Montas said.

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on November 28th, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

Copenhagen fund to help combat climate change: UN chief says to the Comonwealth In Trinidad.
www.chinaview.cn  2009-11-28

PORT OF SPAIN, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) — The 10 billion-dollar-a-year “Copenhagen Launch Fund” would help secure an agreement in Copenhagen and boost developing countries’ efforts to fight climate change, UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon said here Friday.

Britain and France have proposed the creation of an environmental fund totaling 30 billion dollars that will be evenly spent during the years 2010, 2011 and 2012, in efforts to help developing countries fight the effects of global warming.

“The 10 billion-dollar fund is part of the efforts to bridge the gap” between the developed and developing countries in global efforts to fight climate change, Ban told a joint press conference with Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen, on the sidelines of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).

“What we need to achieve in Copenhagen is an agreement on financing,” Rasmussen said. “The new fund will need a pledging procedure and the most developed nations have to participate.”

Rasmussen added the world’s most industrialized nations should make greater efforts than developing nations, because they had polluted more on the way to their current status.

Both Ban and Rasmussen said they were convinced there would be concrete achievements from the Copenhagen summit on climate change slated for Dec. 7-18.

Two weeks ago the Danish government issued invitations for Dec.18, the most important day of the summit, he said. “A total of 85 leaders have told us they will come and many others have told us they are considering it.”

Ban and Rasmussen earlier addressed a special executive session of CHOGM. CHOGM is a biennial summit meeting of the heads of government from all Commonwealth nations.

Editor: Han Jingjing

==========

THAT MEANS – COPENHAGEN WILL END UP WITH A WIMPER – IT WILL BE $10 Billion/year for 3 years – till the Kyoyo II, Copenhagen I, Mexico City I, or rather the Unknown I will kick in!

###

Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on April 18th, 2007
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

From the 1994, Barbados Programme of Action: “While small island developing States are among those that contribute least to global climate change and sea-level rise, they are among those that would suffer most from the adverse effects of such phenomena and could in some cases become uninhabitable. Therefore, they are among those particularly vulnerable States that need assistance under the UNFCCC, including adaptation measures and mitigation efforts.”

AOSIS is The Alliance of Small Island States, a UN body consisting of 43 nations with common bond of environmental and economic vulnerability.   This is a coalition of small island and low-lying coastal countries that share similar development challenges and concerns about the environment, especially their vulnerability to the adverse effects of global climate change. It functions primarily as an ad hoc lobby and negotiating voice for small island developing states (SIDS) within the UN.

On Friday April 13, 2007, a new Bureau was created at AOSIS, and Dr. Angus Friday, the Ambasador of Grenada, was elected by aclamation to head this Bureau. We think that this was a lucky Friday for AOSIS, because   Medical Doctor Friday   has had experience with the private sector in the financing for sustainable development in the island of Grenada following the devastating impact of Hurricane Ivan. Ivan fell upon Grenada in 2004, and caused extreme devastation that required a practical rebuilding of most everything on the island.

During the brake at the UN Security Council’s Open Debate on Energy, Security, and Climate, Ambassador Dr. Angus Friday, the Permanent Representative of Grenada, and Ambassador Collin Beck, the Permanent Representative of the Solomon Islands, presented at a Press Conference the establishment of the new Bureau for their organization. The Bureau will focus on practical efforts to deal with the mitigation of the special vulnerabilities of the islands – in the Caribbean, in the Pacific, and the AIMS (Africa, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean, South China Sea).

The UN DPI report for the PRESS CONFERENCE BY the PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE of GRENADA in the context of   GLOBAL WARMING is as follows:

“Against the backdrop of heightened awareness of the negative impacts of climate change, the Alliance       of Small Island States announced today the creation of a new Bureau that would focus on practical initiatives to mitigate the environmental and economic vulnerability of its member States.

Angus Friday, the Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations and newly appointed Chairman of the Bureau, told reporters that the Alliance — a coalition of 43 economically and environmentally vulnerable nations, formed during the 1992 Rio Summit — had kept those issues in the media spotlight.

The detrimental effects of climate change and global warming raised the spectre of “environmental refugees”, particularly in the Pacific, where it was likely that residents of low-lying islands would be forced to migrate to neighbouring countries.   Such events would broaden the definition of “security” to encompass the security of people’s livelihoods, he said.

Much of the groundwork for the Bureau was laid in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, which in 2004 wiped out 90 per cent of Grenada’s housing stock and completely devastated its nutmeg crops, the country’s primary export.   Such destruction had highlighted the tight correlation between environmental and economic vulnerability.

Going forward, he said, the Bureau would emphasize practical implementation of existing conventions and resolutions that addressed economic vulnerability.   As previous studies and programmes on sustainable development and renewable energy had lacked financing, the new Bureau would focus on financing such projects to ensure that they became operational.

The Alliance envisioned a new partnership within the United Nations, he said, noting the need to move beyond General Assembly debates to finding practical solutions that mitigated the economic and environmental impacts of climate change.   Ultimately, small island States would like to be net contributors to global economic and social development, rather than net receivers of aid.

Responding to a question on the unique challenges faced by small island States, Mr. Friday called attention to the correlation in the Caribbean between ocean heating and hurricane ferocity.   To highlight that point, he noted that prior to 2004, Grenada had been located below the hurricane belt, meaning that yachts travelling to the country during hurricane season would be covered by insurance.   After Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Emily in 2005, that insurance classification had been removed, and Grenada’s burgeoning yachting industry had been severely affected.

Moreover, he added, rising sea levels impacted low-lying islands.   Explaining the translation of “Bahamas” as “Baha” meaning “low-lying” and “mas” meaning “mass”, he said such areas were particularly vulnerable to sea-level changes.

Turning to a question on the threats to biodiversity, he pointed out that island nations derived much of their economic productivity from the seas.   For example, the loss of Caribbean coral reefs to bleaching caused by global warming had impacted local fishing and tourism industries.   With the loss of biodiversity came the loss of genetic material that could be important for biotechnology, he added, noting that vaccines to treat HIV/AIDS and viral diseases had been developed using Caribbean coral reefs.   Flora and fauna which clung to marine rocks contained powerful enzymes that could be used for medical purposes.   The Alliance would examine that untapped potential.

On whether small island States envisioned a common energy policy similar to that recently introduced by the European Union to reduce the Union’s dependence on certain energy suppliers, Mr. Friday said fossil fuel dependence was a huge concern for vulnerable small island States.   For example, the manufacturing base in Trinidad, an oil producing country, was far more competitive than that in neighbouring Grenada, which, as an oil consumer, acutely felt the impacts of oil price fluctuations.   It remained to be seen whether islands like Grenada could ever develop a competitive manufacturing base.

Noting the high toll fossil fuel costs took on the budgets of small island nations, Collin Beck, the Permanent Representative of the Solomon Islands — itself grappling with the impacts of a recent tsunami — added that the Alliance would focus on tapping renewable energy sources to promote industrialization.

Returning to the definition of bleaching, Mr. Friday said that undersea coral was often yellow or orange in colour, due to the presence of living material on it.   Lifting that coating would expose the hard, white, calcium exoskeleton underneath.

Asked about a scenario — similar to one recently debated in the Security Council — in which small island States would collectively object to pollution problems caused by larger nations, Mr. Friday responded that he had not heard the Security Council debate and further, that such matters fell outside the ambit of the Alliance.

Asked if Grenada had a position on whether climate change was properly placed before the Security Council, Mr. Friday said that that debate would hinge on two things: the definition of “security” and the Security Council’s capacity to address such issues.  

Broadening the definition of security would leave room for those matters to be discussed within the Council.   However, Grenada would not be drawn into that debate.   There was no question that such a debate would highlight global warming and climate change issues, and that the international community could not move fast enough to combat the negative effects.

However, it was time to implement existing resolutions, he stressed, adding that there was ample expertise within the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council to take things forward.

—————

To add to the DPI release, we would like to reinforce the impression that Dr. Friday is not out there to fight for a location of where to place the negotiation table – this on which UN organizations’ terrain.
Neither is he interested in fighting wars for who is to blame – rather, and we assume this comes from his previous experience from helping rebuild Grenada after Ivan, he wants to bring to the island states direct private enterprise interests that have the understanding that it is important not to lose the particular potential that these states have of becoming productive participants in the global economy, which is obvious, if we think of tourism and biodiversity. There could be also specific specialized agriculture and plenty of agricultural potential for local use. Each island state is different, but the danger from climate change is a unifier, and in this respect an equalizer.

As an example of how the extension of the Hurricane region towards the southern Caribbean affected the possibility of getting an insurance in Grenada – Dr. Friday pointed out that after Hurricane Emily in 2005, the insurance against Hurricanes cannot be obtained in Grenada anymore, as global warming sort of pushed it into the “Hurricane belt.”

Economically, the high price of oil was also a downer, In the Solomon Islands with 1/3 of the budget going for fuel that ends up energizing only 20% of the population of 500,000. This is why the Solomon Islands, like many more Island States, is shopping for renewable energy. It was also mentioned that by establishing such systems for the SIDS carbon credits can be obtained for the cooperating factors.

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