UN Climate Change Conference 2009

World's leaders are gathering in Copenhagen, Denmark in December to work on new global targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop other strategies to mitigate the global crisis confronting our planet. It is being billed as the single most important event in our planet's history, given the escalating threats from climate change toour ecosystems, our societies and our economies.

Belize and other low-lying countries with coral reefs are among the most threatened in the world. Recognizing this fact, a team of delegates from Belize will be travelling to Copenhagen to participate in side events and informational displays, including a live broadcast from underwater on the Belize Barrier Reef to a large TV display in the center of the Convention Hall. This will be an enormous opportunity to convey our Belizean message about the urgency of addressing the rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and ocean, which is now predicted to result in the loss of coral reefs in the next fifty (50) to one hundred (100) years if we continue operating under "business as usual" global conditions.

As plans firm up for this upcoming global climate change (CC) conference in Copenhagen, advocates in Belize have decided to do something local and within the reach of millions to bring attention to the critical need to get a binding agreement that will cut carbon dioxide levels back to 350 parts per million (equivalent to 1.5° C warming). This is the maximum at which our magnificent barrier reef can survive. Our people, our economy, and our physical security from strengthening storms depend on the reef.

There is a dire need for commitments by the developed world to cut emissions enough to get the atmospheric concentration of CO2 back to 350ppm. Nations, states and communities at risks, including Belize, are calling out for world leaders to "Seal the Deal" in Copenhagen: 350ppm and 1.5 to stay alive. During the weekend of December 11th – 13th, 2009 of the Copenhagen conference, there will be a global mobilization of many groups across the planet with a collective message that "The World Wants a Real Deal" — a binding global agreement. People around the world will be gathering at iconic and strategic locations with lighted candles as a call of hope to stand in solemn solidarity with nations at risk and whose communities' very survival is threatened by the climate crisis.

Belize is supporting the efforts to minimize changes to the environment.

In Belize City, the World Wildlife Fund and partners (Healthy Reefs Initiative, CCCCC, and Belize Climate Change Focal Point) will be organizing a candlelight vigil at 7pm on Friday, December 11th, 2009 in Belize City. The candlelight vigil is proposed for commencement at the Belize City Swing Bridge with a parade down Albert Street, turning onto Dean Street and onto Regent Street, and ending at the Battlefield Park. For more information contact Nadia Bood, Email.

In Corozal Town, a Candlelight Vigil is planned in co-ordination with Art in the Park on Saturday, December 12. We will provide more details as they become available.

— Nadia Bood, MSc, World Wildlife Fund, Belize

Printed from www.corozal.com (UN Climate Change Conference 2009)