Small Island Nations Want Deeper Emissions Reductions

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) criticized reductions set by G8 and Major Economies Forum (developing countries) in Italy as too weak to protect small island nations from effects of climate change.

G8 nations and Major Economies Forum agreed to a 16 percent reduction by 2020, and to cap temperatures at 3.6 degrees Fahreinheit (two degrees Celsius) above 18th century levels.

AOSIS nations want a 45 reduction by 2020, an 85 percent reduction by 2050, and temperatures capped at 2.7 degrees Fahreinheit (1.5 degrees Celsius).

“Two degrees of temperature rise is still unacceptable, because it exceeds safe thresholds necessary for the protection and survival of small islands,” according to Dessima Williams, Grenada’s U.N. ambassador and head of AOSIS.

“Given the decades-long time lags between accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and changes in average temperatures, a mere temperature goal is insufficient,” Williams said. “Targets need to be specific, measurable, quantifiable and defined by reference to the 1990 baseline emissions agreed to under the Kyoto Protocol.”

“It is a cruel irony that without adequate global commitments, the countries contributing least to global warming will be the ones most affected by its consequences,” Williams added.

Last September the representatives of four Pacific island nations (Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau) called on developed countries to take specific action on climate change. Kiribati’s President Anote Tong said his country had to create a “long-term merit-based relocation strategy,” because there is the real the possibility that all 100,000 people in Kiribati might have to be relocated.

“This strategy involves the upskilling of our people to make them competitive and marketable at international labour markets,” Tong said.

President Litokwa Tomeing of the Marshall Islands, said, “ If wars have been waged to protect the rights of people to live in freedom, and to safeguard their security, why will they not be waged to protect our right to survive from the onslaught of climate change?”

President Emanuel Mori of Micronesia said, “Already, many islands have experienced inundations of their taro patches and other food crops by saltwater, resulting in decreasing production and crop destruction.”

Vice President Elias Camsek Chin of Palau characterized climate change as a security issue “which has gone unaddressed.” “In the meantime, we cannot wait,” Chin said.

UN Secretary General Ban ki-moon criticized the two-degree target as “not sufficient.” “Much more needs to be done if governments are to seal the deal on a new climate agreement in December in Copenhagen.”

“The countries represented at L'Aquila are responsible for more than 80 per cent of global emissions, and that is why they bear special responsibility for finding a solution to the political impasse,” Ban said. “If they fail to act this year, they will have squandered a unique historical opportunity that may not come again.”

Related posts:

U.S. Expects Less From China

The Wasted Opportunity

Developed Countries Need To Do More

World Leaders Meet For Talks In Bonn


Post a Comment