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Dec 18, 2009

Poor climate and outlook for developing nations at Copenhagen

Story PictureOver forty-two thousand delegates from around the world have recently flown to Europe for the United Nations Climate Change Conference at the Bella Center in Copenhagen, Denmark. The fate of the world lies primarily in the hands of industrial nations which emit large quantities of greenhouse gases that is causing global warming. The conference has been maligned by protests and on Wednesday, the president of the conference, Connie Hedegaard, resigned. This morning the Head of the United Nations Environmental Program proclaimed that the summit was in crisis. Amongst the tension and those in attendance, is an eleven member Belizean delegation headed by Prime Minister Dean Barrow. This afternoon News Five spoke to Carlos Fuller, the Deputy Director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center, who is at the conference in Copenhagen.

Jose Sanchez
“Why is it important for Belize to attend this climate change conference?”

Via Phone: Carlos Fuller, Deputy Director, CARICOM Climate Change Centre
“Well, Belize is acknowledged and recognized as one of the most vulnerable countries to be impacted by climate change. A better regime must be put in place for us to combat the negative effects of climate change. So the outcome of this negotiation would have been target for countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases and funding and technology for countries like Belize to adapt to the consequences of climate change, which we know are coming in the not so distant future.”

Jose Sanchez
“What would be the effects on Belize?”

Via Phone: Carlos Fuller
“The effects in the climate we are already feeling. Sixty percent of the coral reef has been destroyed because of the warming of the oceans. We have had pine park beetle infestation in 2000, which destroyed seventy-five percent of our forest. We have had outbreaks of diseases that we have never had before. In the past ten years we had more severe hurricanes than in any other decade in history; starting back with the hurricane in 1998, Iris and so on. And so we are already feeling the effects and we need to closely prepare for the effects.”

Jose Sanchez
“Are you saying we need funding from first world countries?”

Via Phone: Carlos Fuller
“Yes and we are applying the polluter pays principle; that is they are the ones who have emitted over ninety-five percent of the greenhouse gases that are caused by climate change. So they have incurred damage on us and so they are liable for that damage and that is the position that Belize is taking, that they must provide the compensation and the adaptation measures required by Belize for climate change. Negotiations have been tense the entire week and they are still ongoing. In fact, we are either on the brink of some positive things or failure. So it is hard to say at the moment and even if there is some positive outcome it could be rather weak, certainly not the mixture of outcome we were hoping. And it is quite likely the negotiations will not be completed on anything substantial until next year.”

Fuller says that most of the delegation will return to Belize over the weekend.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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