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Island Nations Frustrated at Climate Talks


BANGKOK, Oct 5 (IRIN) – Up to half a million people in the Pacific will lose their homes and their countries to rising sea levels because small island nations cannot persuade the rest of the world to reduce greenhouse gas emissions sufficiently, campaigners say.

The Alliance of Small Island States(AOSIS) is calling for a significant reduction in global emissions so the world’s temperature does not rise more than 1.5 degrees centigrade above pre-industrial levels.

But after a week of negotiations in Bangkok before the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in December, developed and developing world countries have been unable to agree anything at all on emissions cuts, AOSIS said.

“We are not working through the options as negotiations, we are simply restating our positions. So we may arrive in Copenhagen with the parties still very far apart. It’s really setting up Copenhagen for failure or an inadequate result,” Leon Charles, chairman of the AOSIS negotiating team, who is from the Caribbean island of Grenada, told IRIN.

AOSIS, whose members are among the most vulnerable to climate change, “can’t live with” global temperature rises of two degrees, a possible target mentioned in the Bangkok talks, Charles said.

“We want 1.5 degrees centigrade in terms of mitigation and significant scaled-up and easily accessible finance. It’s about our survival,” he said.

An AOSIS statement  issued after a preliminary meeting in New York in September said members were “profoundly disappointed” by the lack of will in the negotiations to protect small island developing states from climate change impacts.

October 12, 2009 - Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , ,

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