Watch the environment - IMF

Published: Friday | December 11, 2009

Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Dominique Strauss-Kahn, has said the global economic crisis must not be used as a distraction from tackling issues of climate change.

"Sustaining the recovery and putting in place effective climate-change policies can be mutually reinforcing with the right policies implemented resolutely," Strauss-Kahn said.

World leaders are meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark with a view to agreeing on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

Scientists have argued that world temperatures have risen way beyond pre-industrial levels as a result of carbon emissions.

The change has resulted in global warming, a situation which has caused sea levels to rise and has increased the intensity of extreme weather events, species' extinction and changes in agricultural yields.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding told Parliament recently that the issue of climate change was not a myth.

"The danger to the planet of global warming and the catastrophes it will produce, if left unchecked, including the uninhabitability of parts of the world, particularly some small states, is not the alarmist warnings of overzealous scientists," the prime minister said.

More money demanded

Already, developing countries at the Copenhagen conference are demanding that developed nations provide more money to fight climate change.

Lumumba Di-Aping of Sudan, the head of the 135-nation bloc of developing countries, said the US$10 billion a year proposed to help poor nations change paled in comparison to the more than US$1 trillion already spent to rescue financial institutions.

"If this is the greatest risk that humanity faces, then how do you explain $10 billion?" he said. "Ten billion dollars will not buy developing countries' citizens enough coffins."

Golding had told Parliament that it could cost J$250 billion-J$500 billion yearly to save the environment through mitigation and adaptation measures.

Strauss-Kahn has said that global cooperation, including international financial nstitutions, will help countries to confront the challenges from climate change.

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