Foreign Minister, Senator Maxine McClean

Barbados is being represented by a high-level delegation at the important United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 15th annual global conference (COP-15) currently under way in Copenhagen, Denmark.

This country???s Foreign Minister, Senator Maxine McClean, is heading a six member delegation to the week-long meeting. Other members are: the Minister of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe; Special Envoy on the Environment, Dr. Leonard Nurse; Project Manager, Ministry of the Environment, Water Resources and Drainage, Rickardo Ward; Omokaro Branker of the Caribbean Youth Environment Network; and Selwin Hart, First Secretary to the Barbados Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York.

The meeting has brought together negotiators, several eminent scientists, and a number of world leaders to consider and take decisions on key issues and programmes that will shape the future international climate change regime.

As an international response to global warming and climate change, the UNFCCC was adopted in 1992 and came into force on March 21, 1994. It currently has a membership of 192 countries. The Convention sets out a framework for action aimed at stabilising atmosphere concentration of green house gases in order to avoid ???dangerous anthropogenic interference??? with climate systems.

Barbados became a signatory to the UNFCCC on March 23, 1994, and the Kyoto Protocol on August 7, 2000.

Since signing these two treaties, Barbados has undertaken several initiatives intended to establish compliance with its international obligations, and generally to develop its national capacity to facilitate adequate adaptation and mitigation to climate change.

This country has also, over the years, actively participated in the international climate change agenda, through attendance at relevant international fora.

As a state particularly vulnerable to climate change, and highly dependent on the environment to support its main economic sectors, Barbados has a major stake in the outcome of COP-15, and has, therefore, been actively engaged in the negotiations process over the last two years. The conference ends this coming Saturday.

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