Tuesday, 25 September 2007 1:49 PM

Vahoe Speaks on Climate Change

Climate change and its consequent sea-level rise are having serious and irreparable damage to our ecosystem, food production and the livelihood of our communities that are most vulnerable.

Speaking at the 62nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly High-Level Event on Climate Change in New York, Minister for Communication, Aviation and Meteorology, Hon. Patrick Vahoe Jr, said the problem with climate change is that it is changing faster, caused by human activities, mainly through the burning of fossil fuels.

"Given the fragile ecosystems of Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and the Least Developed Countries LDCs, they are the least equipped to deal with Climate Change effects and are at the receiving end in terms of lives, economic and social loss due to the impact of disasters," he said.

Hon. Vahoe said while there are countries that have the resources and capacity to absorb the cost of damage and reduce the loss of lives, "...Solomon Islands as a SIDS and LDC, wish not to labour on our ongoing painful experience with the growing threat of climate change."

"For instance, in 2002, tropical cyclone with hurricane force winds of over 300km per hour, which was the strongest ever recorded in the South West Pacific region, affected food security, water supply system, causing havoc to properties and infrastructure," he said.

"Some of these effects continue to be felt today, in our inhabited low-lying atolls and islands. So long as real actions are not made to address climate change challenges, events such as these will continue to be at our forefront, threatening our very existence and the future generations."

Hon. Vahoe told the meeting that the projected outlook, as highlighted in the recently published Fourth Assessment Report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, for most of the small islands developing states in the Pacific is not good at all.

"We believe that it is a moral obligation for those countries that contributed significant share of global emissions of Green house gases, to take stronger action to limit the growth GHG emissions. We therefore urge highly industrialised countries, both in the North and south, to take immediate steps in addressing climate change and sea level rise including the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol," said Vahoe

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