Climate Change

Small island states reject proposal for a global climate deal by 2020

United Nations Climate Talks

Témoignages.re / 1 December 2011

The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) says it will not accept outcomes at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) COP17 that propose to delay any new binding agreement or more ambitious emissions reductions until 2020, as these cannot safeguard the livelihoods and guarantee the survival of our nations.

On the eve of the opening of the Durban Climate Conference, Ambassador Dessima Williams, Permanent Representative of Grenada to the United Nations and Chair of AOSIS cautioned that if Durban puts off a legally binding agreement and closes the door on raising mitigation ambition before 2020 many of our small island states will be severely threatened.

“AOSIS is calling on the Durban conference to deliver agreement on a second five-year commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, a process to rapidly ramp up mitigation ambition, and a mandate to quickly conclude a new parallel legal agreement in 2012 to cover those not bound by the Kyoto Protocol,” she said.

“After a year of record emissions growth and the hottest temperatures on record, the push by the world’s biggest carbon polluters to delay flies in the face of the overwhelming evidence in support of immediate action and represents a betrayal of the people most vulnerable to climate change and the world.

“To fulfill our moral and ethical obligation to protect our people, AOSIS will here in Durban reject any outcome that cannot ultimately safeguard our livelihoods and guarantee the survival of our nations. Why would we ever agree to a deal that has as its ultimate and inevitable consequence our own demise? If Durban puts off a legally binding agreement and closes the door on raising mitigation ambition before 2020 many of our small island states will be literally and figuratively doomed.

“As noted last week by the International Energy Agency, delaying action until 2017 would close the door to any hope of keeping warming below 2°C, and put humanity on a course to the devastation of 4°C of warming and many metres of sea-level rise. The proposed 2020 timeline would also leave more than five years between the next report of the IPCC (due in 2014) and a new round of emission reduction commitments.

“It is a betrayal not just of small island nations, many of whom would be destined for extinction, but a betrayal of all humanity. There are no plausible technical, economic or legal impediments for not taking the actions required by science – we need to act now!”

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