located in the Caribbean, Barbados has a land area of 167 sq. mi. (431 sq. km.), and a population of 331,000 (2006 est.), with a population density of 1,663 people per sq. mi. (647 people per sq. km.). More than a third of the population lives in Bridgetown, the capital. Thirty-seven percent of the land on Barbados is arable, with an additional 5 percent used for meadows and pasture. About 12 percent of the country is forested. Historically, Barbados has been reliant on the sugar industry, but now also relies on tourism. Because of this, Barbados has been at the forefront of the Caribbean Tourism Organization's role in discussing the adverse effects of climate change. Barbados is regularly threatened by hurricanes, and is facing real problems from global warming and climate change. Much of the country is low-lying, and rising water temperatures caused by global warming endanger the coastal fringe of coral reefs.
In terms of its carbon dioxide emissions per capita, Barbados ranks 83rd, with 4.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide per person in 1990, falling to 2.9 metric tons per capita in 1994, and then rising to 4.6 metric tons in 2001-02, before falling slightly. Because of its isolated location, most of the people traveling to Barbados, including over 500,000 tourists each year, come by air. To reduce carbon emissions, the Barbadian government has attempted to reduce power use on the island. It has maintained a well-run system of public transport, with buses covering most of the country.
Furthermore, the Barbadian government of Ers-kine Sandiford took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992. Barbados then hosted the Global Conference on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS), known as the Barbados Conference, in April-May
1994 when SIDS discussed the problems of global climate change and the impending rise in sea levels. The government of Owen Arthur accepted the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on July 8, 2000. It took effect on February 16, 2005. Soon afterward, Barbados launched its own national energy strategy. On September 24, 2007, Owen Arthur pleaded at the UN in New York that wealthier countries introduce policies to help reverse the effects of global warming and climate change, pointing out the responsibility of developed countries that have historically contributed heavily to the problem.
SEE ALSO: Atlantic Ocean; Hurricanes and Typhoons; Oceanic Changes; Tourism.
BIBLIOGRAPHY. M.D. Alleyne, "Our Bubbling Budding Oil Industry," Bajan and South Caribbean (v.358, 1983); "Arthur Lobbies for Smaller States," Jamaica Gleaner (September 26, 2007); Tony Best, "Arthur: Cut Greenhouse Gas," Nation Bridgetown (September 25, 2007); "Climate Caution," Nation Bridgetown (July 18, 2007); "CTO to Examine Climate Change," Nation Bridgetown (September 17, 2007); R.B. Potter, "Industrial Development and Urban Planning in Barbados," Geography (v.66/3, 1981).
Justin Corfield Geelong Grammar School, Australia
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Renewable energy is energy that is generated from sunlight, rain, tides, geothermal heat and wind. These sources are naturally and constantly replenished, which is why they are deemed as renewable. The usage of renewable energy sources is very important when considering the sustainability of the existing energy usage of the world. While there is currently an abundance of non-renewable energy sources, such as nuclear fuels, these energy sources are depleting. In addition to being a non-renewable supply, the non-renewable energy sources release emissions into the air, which has an adverse effect on the environment.