Climate change is an “emergency” – EU Ambassador

The overall warming of the earth’s atmosphere and oceans due to climate change should be acknowledged by all humans, since they are the main contributors to this global disaster. At a recent climate change forum, European Union Ambassador to Guyana, Fernando Ponz Canto shared this position as he regarded the trend as an emergency. Climate change can be defined as a change in global or regional climate patterns, attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels. “We are talking about climate change but actually we shouldn’t be talking about climate change. We should be talking about a climate emergency. I think this reflects very much, the situation. It is an emergency and it has been treated as such,” he stated. Given that human activities are primarily responsible for this increased warming, the Ambassador indicated that awareness should be spread on how to combat this global issue and the rate of pollution. “We are the first climate- related donor in the world. This is reflecting our commitment and our awareness, perhaps because we are also responsible for that. We are one of the main, responsible for climate change. We have polluted a lot and we are still polluting. If there is something positive about that, it’s that this has made us aware of the need to tackle this problem.” In recent years, the EU has strongly supported the fight against climate change, with a plan of reducing emissions by 20 per cent. However, it is a difficult undertaking. “We are committed to a very ambitious per cent of reductions, in terms of emissions but also increasing sustainable energy. We are committed to moving from fossil fuel energies to sustainable, renewable energies that will not contribute to climate change. This is very difficult but we’re happy to do it,” Ponz Canto highlighted. Research has shown that oceans have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished and the sea level has risen. From 1901 to 2010, the global average sea level rose by 19 centimetres as oceans expanded due to warming and ice melting. In 2009, the former Administration had launched its Low Carbon Development Strategy (LCDS), which aimed at turning Guyana into a state of low carbon emission and sustainable development, while simultaneously combating climate change. The coalition Administration then introduced the Green State Development Strategy, largely based on the LCDS initiated by the former Government. It is a framework that is supposed to incorporate economic development programmes with strategies to promote the fight against global warming. However, many elements of the new framework have been labelled as flawed.