04 December, 2008


Minister announces in House of Commons that Anguilla is not a party to the UK ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. As every Anguillian schoolchild knows, the greenhouse gasses consist of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur hexafluoride.

The UK is obliged to report on its and its dependencies’ and territories’ emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and came into force on 16 February, 2005. This is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). It is an international treaty that was produced at the UN Conference on Environment and Development. The Earth Summit, as it is informally known, was held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. The treaty is intended to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. That means caused by humans, mainly by burning coal, oil, and other inflammable material. As of 2008, 183 countries, including the UK on behalf of itself and its dependencies and territories, have ratified the protocol.

Someone has drawn to my attention that, in answer to a question asked in the House of Commons on 26 November 2008, Joan Ruddock, the Minister for Energy and Climate Change, has indicated that Anguilla is not included as a party to the UK ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Gibraltar and Montserrat, for example, are there. But, not Anguilla. What reason, I wonder, could there be for that? [A search of wildlife and environment treaties indicates Kyoto is not the only one.]

Perhaps it is just as well. I might otherwise be overwhelmed by guilt about burning my light household garbage and garden cuttings, as I have religiously done every week for the past 26 years.


  1. Two representatives from Environmental Health were on The Elkin Show a few months ago. They said that burning garbage, both at Corito and elsewhere, is illegal.

    Your weekend experience tells us about the level of enforcement provided by our diligent environmental health officers.

  2. Lack of enforcement, failure to sign treaties, continuing sand mining, imprisoned wild dolphins and general disregard of our environment or those who come after us have become accepted practice in Anguilla. Our leaders don't even bother to give hypocritical speeches about such things any longer.

  3. It would appear that the UK is trying to shield the environmental disaster we call Anguilla from further international scrutiny.
    - Scotty

  4. Scotty has caught the Hubert disease, seeing an evil conspiracy in everything the UK does. The sad truth is that the Overseas Territories have a very low priority in the Foreign Office. What little attention we do get is too often characterised by sloppiness and negligence. But these are different from a conspiracy.

    Things will improve. Their attention is being diverted by TCI, Cayman and St. Helena. They will get to us eventually. Maybe not until Governor Smiley finish.

    Meanwhile, get used to secret meetings and documents on the constitution, and continued sand mining.

  5. What are we teaching our children? How can we expect things to get better in the future when we do not lead by example--GOOD example. Why is there no attempt at recycling in Anguilla? Why is there no public deriding of environmental "transgressions"? Are we teaching the future generation to simply "not care."?

  6. Recycling what? Who wants our waste? How much will they pay for it? What will it cost to get it there? Who will pay if we fail to break even? Why doesn't Environmental Health recycle glass any more? (Or is that another State Secret?)

    And of greatest importance, how many Anguillians want to work at Corito, separating the aluminum cans from the glass bottles, from the different types of plastic, from the non-ferrous metals, and from the used diapers?

  7. Perhaps I'm stupid but why can the Government of Anguilla not make it's own laws regarding the environment; why do we have to wait until we are told to do it by the UK, UN or another International Body? By that time all will be lost and the wonderful island of Anguilla will be feet deep in debris and the tourist industry will have collapsed.

    Every day without action is a day lost in teaching the children how they can made amends by recycling and generally cleaning up the island - especially old cars and other old metallic dangerous objects left lying around.

  8. I think it has to do with international obligations rather than local clean up campaigns. Anguilla, as an Overseas Territory, cannot sign up to international treaties and conventions. The Overseas Territories depend on the UK doing it for us. What is required is for the government of the particular territory to ask the UK government to extend the treaty to us. The UK will not do so unless the local authorities express an interest. We in Anguilla have simply never got around to making the request.


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