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Climate change not merely an enviromental issue: expert
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An energy expert with the United Nation's Samoa Office said climate change should not be viewed nor addressed as merely an environmental issue, the Islands Business online reported on Thursday.

"Climate change has enormous implications on human development issues," Thomas Jensen told reporters at the Pacific climate change round-table currently underway in Apia, Samoa.

"We are not going to solve anything if we just treat it as an environmental issue. That should be the starting point, to have a real impact we must acknowledge the fact that climate change is not an environmental issue alone, but it's a human issue, a development issue," he said.

According to Jensen who oversees renewable energy program of the United Nations Development Program in the Pacific, the issue of climate change impacted economic, social, cultural, health, infrastructure, energy, poverty reduction, sustainable development aspects of a nation.

So leaving climate change only for a department of environment to tackle would be pointless and ineffective, he said.

"To address climate change properly, we cannot just leave it at the national level to the environment department which most of the time is under-resourced, lacks staff and money," the Islands Business quoted him as saying.

On the high cost of fossil fuel, Jensen suggested the best strategy would be pro-activeness.

"To keep the momentum going (on renewable energy), we need to be proactive. We need to think long term in order for us to be less vulnerable to the unstable high cost of fossil fuel," he said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 16, 2008)

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