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Climate Change Needs A Global Solution – British High Commissioner 

By Elizabeth Enanga Mokake*

The new British High Commissioner to Cameroon, H.E. Bharat Joshi, says climate change is the biggest threat the world is likely to face in its lifetime. He was speaking at his residence in Yaounde on Thursday, September 24, while launching a competition on climate change reporting for journalists.

Bharat Joshi

The Minister of Communication, journalists and other distinguished personalities attended the occasion. The competition was a way of igniting debate as time ticks away to the UN Climate Change conference that takes place Copenhagen, Denmark from 7-18 December.

It was against this backdrop that Bharat quoted the report of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, IPCC, which warns that by 2020 between 75 million and 250 million people would be affected by water stress. He added that agricultural capacity which is projected to be severely compromised as a result, the number of fish in lakes will fall due to the rising water temperatures. He also warned that sea-levels will rise. 

The report equally projects a rise in the earth’s temperature of four degrees by 2020. The diplomat lamented that the African continent, which has contributed least to the problem of global warming, is the most vulnerable to its effects. He pointed out that the effects for Cameroon and her neighbours are potentially even more devastating.

This means Cameroon has a strong interest and stakes at the Copenhagen Summit. It should put in place the right mechanism to press for the support of forest countries and ensure that the people whose livelihoods depend on the forest are compensated in order to dissuade them from wanton exploitation.The High Commissioner said the solution to climate change will lie in global citizens working together across national, religious and social boundaries.

According to the High Commissioner, success at the Copenhagen Summit could jump-start a transformation of the global economy, strengthen climate-resilient development, and most urgently assist the world’s poorest and most vulnerable to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change. He called on journalists whom he believes are well placed to contribute to building a coalition for action on climate change, by drawing the world’s attention to the impact of climate change on the most vulnerable.

(ASMAC Journalism Student on Internship)

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