Saturday, August 6, 2011

Small island faces huge threat from climate change

4 August 2011 - When the United Nations Security Council took up the issue of climate change for the first time in four years last month, the president of the world’s smallest island nation delivered a grim warning and impassioned appeal to the international community.

Marcus Stephen of Nauru described to the council how rising sea levels are threatening the eight-square-mile Pacific island and, in turn, the security and survival of its people. Climate change should be a Security Council priority, he argued, because of the security risks it poses, from the physical loss of territory to the pressure on human habitat to the increased demand on limited food and water resources.

Stephen’s speech fell on deaf ears for some, however, as entrenched divisions on the issue of climate change reemerged among member states. Countries such as China and Russia opposed the Security Council’s involvement, while the United States, Australia, Germany, and others voiced their support for it.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice called the council’s lack of leadership “more than disappointing.”

“It’s pathetic,” she said in her speech. “It’s shortsighted, and frankly it’s a dereliction of duty.” More >>>

Location: Cayman Islands