December 09, 2009
Tuvalu—an island nation particular vulnerable to rising sea levels—and its supporters have demanded a new treaty to run alongside the Kyoto protocol that would set the maximum allowable temperature increase to be 1.5 degrees Celsius, instead of 2 degrees Celsius rise usually put forth by developed countries and big emerging economies like India and China. In addition, they requested that atmospheric carbon levels be set at 350 parts per million (ppm) instead of 450 ppm.
"Tuvalu is one of the most vulnerable countries in the world to climate change, and our future rests on the outcome of this meeting," said Tuvalu negotiator Ian Fry said, according to the BBC.
Negotiations were put on hold until the new demands are considered and the issue resolved.
"This is the first time we've seen the island nations make such a splash," Malini Mehra of the India-based Centre for Social Markets told the BBC, noting how big emerging economies quickly denounced the demands.
The Polynesian island nation of Tuvalu is home to just over 12,000 people. It was joined in its new demands by the Cook Islands, Fiji, Barbados, Sierra Leone, Senegal, and Cape Verde. For its action today Tuvalu won the first ever 'ray of the day' award for "actions to substantially advance progress in global climate talks". The award is given by the Fossil of the Day Awards, an organization that usually highlights countries that impede talks the most.
Nuclear option in Copenhagen?
(12/09/2009) On the first day of talks at the Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Kevin Conrad, Papua New Guinea's Special Envoy and Ambassador for Environment and Climate Change, surprised many by calling for a 'nuclear option'. The option would allow a document to be ratified by 75 percent of the conference's nations, rather than the usual consensus required. It is thought the nuclear option would give more power to developing countries, since they far outnumber wealthy nations at the conference.
Bangladesh tops list of most vulnerable countries to climate change
(12/09/2009) According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Bangladesh is the most vulnerable nation to extreme weather events, which many scientists say are being exacerbated by climate change. From 1990 to 2008, Bangladesh has lost 8,241 lives on average every year due to natural disasters. In addition, rising sea levels also threaten millions of Bangladeshis.
Leaked document in Copenhagen seen as sidelining poor countries
(12/08/2009) A document leaked late in the day at Copenhagen has threatened to further divide developing nations from wealthy countries during the conference in Denmark. The document, labeled as the 'Danish-text', is seen by many as sidelining poor countries by handing over climate financing to the World Bank, requiring developing countries to cut total emissions, and in forty years time still allowing wealthy countries to emit more than developing per capita.