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Montevideo, February 7th 2023 - 08:49 UTC

 

 

Falklands part of the global climate crisis, both in consequences and attempts to find solutions

Wednesday, November 30th 2022 - 10:32 UTC
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Already visible climate change effects in the Falklands as Laguna Isla dries out on East Falkland Already visible climate change effects in the Falklands as Laguna Isla dries out on East Falkland

Falklands Conservation has called for a commitment to a net-zero greenhouse gas target for the Falkland Islands by 2050 - in line with a range of other nations from around the globe - as CEO of Falklands Conservation Esther Bertram said that without action “the Falklands are part of the global climate crisis, both in feeling the consequences and in trying to find solutions.”

The call for action came amidst politicians around the world convening in Egypt for the Conference of Parties (COP) 27 on the issue of climate change.

“World leaders were gathered in Egypt last week to look at how to tame the beast of climate change and achieve a target of ‘net zero’ greenhouse gas emissions by 2050,” Dr Bertram explained, “Targets, especially those put into law, drive action and ambition - without them change will not occur.”

Speaking about the impacts of climate change, Dr Bertram said “Looking around the Islands last year there were clear signs of a drying landscape. Cracking peat, erosion and empty ponds became an all-too common sight. While it’s not certain that this was specifically due to climate change, we can say that more extreme weather is on its way in the next 40 years. The Falklands is part of the global climate crisis, both in feeling the consequences and in trying to find solutions.”
Dr Bertram added “online statistics show the Falklands emit more greenhouse gases per person than Saudi Arabia or Qatar.
“As a small population, our per-person emissions are susceptible to even small increases in our national greenhouse gas volumes.
“But, in our favor, a small population should be more nimble to change to achieve positive results. A binding Net Zero greenhouse gas target for 2050 would help us convene the right groups of people to find answers to those and many more questions.”
Dr Bertram, addressing the potential severity of the impact on the Falklands way of life, said “For the Falklands, climate change will impact our abundant wildlife and industries. Fish stocks, birds, and land cover, are just a few areas of our environment that will face challenges. And, as a result, our livelihoods and lifestyles will likely have to change too.”

COP27 drew in representatives from across the world, including Commonwealth Nations and British Overseas Territories. This month in Egypt MLA Pete Biggs, portfolio holder for Environment and Public Infrastructure, met with the new Overseas
Territories Minister for the UK, Zac Goldsmith, alongside Ministers Melvin Turnbull and Quincia Gumbs-Marie for the British Virgin Islands and Anguilla respectively.

A statement from the office of Melvin Turnbull on the meeting said “among the issues discussed was a need for truer representation of the OTs at international conferences such as COP27, considering that the OTs make up about 90% of the UK’s oceans and areas significantly affected by climate change.

”The appointment of The Rt. Hon. Lord Goldsmith as OT Minister is in fact opportune, as his professional interests and innate passions comprise nature and the environment. During their meeting, The Rt. Hon. expressed his enthusiasm about the opportunity he now has to develop those areas in our respective territories.”

The statement from the office of Minister Turnbull added that “The Rt. Hon. Lord Goldsmith said that he is pleased to be our representative, and has pledged his support with coordinating financial and technical resources to mitigate the effects of climate
change in our different regions.”

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