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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

World’s poorest countries cautions the world’s most powerful person

As Mother Nature reminded the US presidential candidates (Obama and Romney during the final stages of campaign) about the change in climate, the Chair of the Least Developed Countries writes an open letter to the US President on its concerns

During the US presidential campaigns held recently none of the presidential candidates (Barack Obama and Mitt Romney) mentioned the subject of climate change not even during the televised debates held between the two.
This has raised a lot of questions over the commitment of the President of the United States of America.
Now, the world’s poorest countries are cautioning the President-elect, Barack Obama, to do more.
In an open letter to President Barack Obama, the chair of the LDCs, Pa Ousman Jarju, expressed the 48 LDCs concern on where the negotiations on climate change are heading.
In more than a 700 worded letter to the President, Pa Ousman Jarju said while the LDCs consists only 12% of the world’s population, this lot suffers the effects of climate related disasters more than five times as much as the world as a whole.
“Given this reality and your early commitment to leading a science-directed discussion about the changing climate, I was surprised that you only mentioned climate change in your re-election campaign a few times, and not once in your three debates with Mitt Romney,” wrote Pa Ousman Jarju.
According to the researchers at Brown University’s climate and development lab, climate-related disasters such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, and hurricanes have caused an estimated 1.3mn deaths since 1980, two thirds of these deaths (over 909,000) occurred in the LDCs.
Pa Ousman Jarji said while 70% of US citizens now recognize the reality of human-caused climate change and as the world’s largest economy; the US has a unique opportunity and responsibility to take bold action on this issue.
“Indeed, the wellbeing of the citizens of your nation and mine depends on your ability to lead at this critical juncture. It is time to end the climate silence,” said Pa Ousman Jarju.
“When you were first elected president, your words gave us hope that you would become an international leader on climate change. But you have not lived up to this promise,” said Pa Ousman Jarju.
He mentioned that the framework President Barack Obama put in place sets the planet on course to warm dangerously, and delays action until 2020 which will be too late.
Reminding President Obama of this year’s UNFCCC climate summit in Qatar, he said it may be our last chance to put forward a new vision and plan to reverse this course.
“Your legacy and the future of our children and grandchildren depend on it. We ask you to lead in two ways,” wrote Pa Ousman Jarju.
Pa Ousman Jarju mentioned two actions that the US government should opt. He said the first one should be joining with the European Union, the LDCs and the Alliance of Small Island States in taking on ambitious national commitments to reduce climate pollution.
“Go beyond the commitments that you made in Copenhagen in 2009. The climate is changing faster than we thought, and we must respond with increased ambition,” wrote Pa Ousman Jarju.
The second action that the chair of LDCs mentions is to provide adequate finding to help the LDCs and other vulnerable nations to adapt to this new climate reality.
Pa Ousman Jarju in his letter said with 20 years of international climate change negotiations behind us, there is simply no longer time or cause for wealthy countries to continue to stall in taking real action to fulfill the promise they have made.
He added that having the wealthy nations reduce their greenhouse gas emissions steeply is fundamental, but helping the poorest of us cope with its impacts is an immediate necessity.
“Mr President, remind the world that the devastation of climate change is shared by all its citizens. Remember that this reality is changeable. Make changing it your legacy,” wrote Pa Osuman Jarju.
However, during Barack Obama’s victory speech his mention of climate change saying “the destructive power of a warming planet” was a cause of hope for many.
"We want our children to live in an America that isn't burdened by debt, that isn't weakened by inequality, that isn't threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet," said President Obama during his victory speech.

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