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Jagdeo: Stop sleep-walking on climate change!

Published:Monday | April 16, 2012 | 11:56 AM

Janet Silvera

Senior Gleaner Writer

Georgetown, Guyana:

Time Magazine's 2008 Hero of the environment, Bharrat Jagdeo says too many governments of the region are sleep-walking on the issue of climate change.

The former president of Guyana in his keynote address to delegates at the 13th Annual Caribbean Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development at the Guyana International Conference Centre this morning said, the world is currently on a path way to four degrees rise in temperature.

"At four degrees rise in global temperature above pre industrial levels, the forest will die naturally, the corals will die, the sea would rise so we would lose most of our beaches in the Caribbean," he warned, adding that it was incumbent on tourism officials, many of who are very influential to help Governments to be aware of the problem, "Because we have too many Governments that are sleep-walking on this issue".

Jagdeo spoke via satellite from his hotel room in China, where he is on the road with a delegation of ministers from the Congo promoting an agreement which seeks to preserve the rainforest of this world, while allowing developing countries to take greater ownership of their forest.

He said, for the region to be sustainable, there must be more awareness of the existential threats, particularly, to the product that being offered - tourism.

"We can never have sustainable tourism if we observe those consequences without a sound global agreement to limit Green House gases," he argued.