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Tuesday, 08 December 2015

Small states facing a slide to catastrophe

The success of the current climate change conference in Paris for small states will be judged by only two criteria: The limiting of global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, and firm and binding commitments by the industrialised nations to provide financing for adaptation and mitigation, without which small island developing states are in grave jeopardy. At the time of writing, the prospects for such success are not encouraging. It would be a travesty if the representatives of small states were to join the expected chorus of governments of industrialised nations that are expected to declare the conference a success even if they fail to deliver on curbing carbon emissions and on financing. (...) Small countries now have to stand up in their own interest, and the urgency of doing so is now. There is no greater threat to the survival of all small island and developing states and the existence of many. Nothing -- no other single issue or collection of issues -- is a bigger or nearer dagger to the heart of small islands' lives than climate change.(...) To be fair to the leaders of the 28-nation European Union, they have persistently committed to making the cutting of emissions legally binding. But they too have been parsimonious on the provision of compensation caused by their own carbon emissions. It should be recalled that the small islands of the Caribbean and Pacific contribute less than 0.1 per cent of carbon emissions, but are the greatest victims.

Source: Jamaica Observer