#Article (Archive)

Tackling climate change

Oct 28, 2011, 2:11 PM

The day-long seminar on “Strengthening of the Gambia’s Climate Change Early Warning Systems Project” organized by the Ministry of Water Resources could not have come at a better time than now, as it is an undisputable fact that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time.

Fighting it, therefore, with all seriousness requires strong political will to urgently combat it in accordance with the principle of common but different responsibilities and respective capabilities.

To achieve the ultimate objective of the convention to stabilize greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system, there is need to recognize the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below 2 degrees Celsius.

There is also a need, of course, on the basis of equity and in the context of sustainable development and enhanced cooperative action, to combat climate change.

We must also recognise the critical impacts of climate change and the potential impacts of response measures on our country that is particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.

We, therefore, stress the need to establish a comprehensive adaptation programme, with more international support, in addressing the menace of climate change.

Every now and then, reports on climate change show that despite the fact that Africans have contributed the least to climate change caused by humans, there are widespread fears that the continent will be the worst hit.

While it is evident that Africa has the least capacity and ability to cope with the problems of climate change, African governments should put pressure on the developed countries to support our fight against climate change, as we must be seen to be taking action on climate change.

Africans are the most affected by climate change, and every effort should be made to bring about positive solutions, including being able to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

It is our belief that if this doesn’t happen, Africa will not only remain underdeveloped, but also its people on the continent will die in millions, because of the effects of climate change.

The scientific evidence on global warming is strengthening on a daily basis, and there are risks over and above those that are usually considered.

The importance of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries like The Gambia are essential.

“Climate change is such a huge issue that it requires strong, concerted, consistent and enduring action by governments.”

Peter Garrett