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UWI students fight climate change

By Darcel Choy Sunday, April 19 2009

click on pic to zoom in
Students from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine pose with their banner. ...
Students from the University of the West Indies, St Augustine pose with their banner. ...

University of the West Indies (UWI) students came together on Thursday afternoon to air their opinions and offer solutions on the issue of climate change in the Caribbean and Latin America led by the partnership between Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) and 350.org at Humanities Undercroft, on the UWI Campus, St Augustine.

350.org is an international grassroots campaign on climate change. Its primary goals are to raise awareness and build a movement around the need for a global treaty that puts the planet back on track to 350 ppm CO2, the agreed-upon safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Co-ordinator and co-founder of CYEN-350 org, Kelly Blynn said that the Caribbean youth wanted leaders to not only focus on the economy but also on climate change.

“Climate change now will affect us especially those in the Caribbean and Latin America in the future and with this event we wanted to highlight how climate change is affecting us now,” she said.

Blynn pointed out that currently the world’s carbon dioxide level is above the 350 mark which means we are in the danger zone right now.

“We need to get it back down to the safe level of 350 and we think it is an important benchmark for the Government to understand,” she said.

She explained that world leaders are preparing to create a new global treaty on global warming at the end of 2009.

“This is a very serious undertaking, we are talking cutting emissions by more than half and this has to be done quickly. This is why we want to get more young people involved so we came here, talked to students to make sure they understand the effects of climate change and after speaking to some here today (Thursday) some of them already do and are actually aware of the impact,” she said.

Also present were a few members of the CYEN who shared their future plans to help the country’s environment.

“We are going to be planting 350 almond and sea grape trees all over Tobago and we are hoping to have a recruitment drive, and other things planned later down in the year,” Natalaee Aymes said.

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