The Common Good
May 2009

Climate Change Around the World: Audio Interviews

by Elizabeth Palmberg | May 2009

Stories from the global South about how global warming is already harming people in poor nations, and suggestions for how to respond.

In Tegua, in the Pacific island nation of Vanuatu, an entire village has to move away from the coast as their village is swamped by the tides. Another village in Fiji, at the delta of the Rewa River, was able to save their homes -- so far -- by diverting a river that previously ran by their community. The people of two entire islands had to leave their homes when the rising sea level caused high tides to swamp their seawall, salting their groundwater and spreading disease. Fe'iloakitau Kaho Tevi, General Secretary, Pacific Conference of Churches, shares some of the stories of climate change affecting the lives of the people living in Tegua, and discusses what happens to a community, practically and psychologically, when it is torn from the land where it has lived from generations.

We also asked Nigerian environmental and economic activist Leo Atakpu how the world's rich nations should respond to the devastation which our greenhouse gas emissions are causing in the global South. He tells us that the crisis requires nothing less than $500 billion in adaptation fund grants through the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change -- not the World Bank, whose loans only mire countries in debt and increases their problems.

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