The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), making up 42-island and low-lying coastal nations, has told Reuters that a deadline should be set for the UN climate treaty to be completed by 2011. After a disappointing meeting in Copenhagen last year and the low expectations for the up-coming climate change conference in Cancun, the AOSIS says a hard deadline should be set for 2011.
“In the case of climate, emergency requires speed,” AOSIS chair Dessima Williams of Grenada told Reuters. Other nations, including the US, are wary of setting a binding time-limit to complex negotiation.
AOSIS is also calling for a target to limit warming to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius since pre-industrial times. The Group of Least Developed Countries (LDCs) also support this goal. However, last year nations agreed on the less-ambitious goal of below 2 degrees Celsius in the Copenhagen Accord.
AOSIS nations view themselves as especially vulnerable to climate change given rising seas, worsening tropical storms, and coral reef decline.
After meeting in Cancun over the next two weeks, the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change will move next to Durban, South Africa in 2011.
(11/22/2010) Despite a global economic recession and ongoing concerns about the impacts of climate change, last year’s global carbon emissions were the second highest on record, according to the Global Carbon Project (GCP). Emissions in 2009 were just below the record emissions of 2008. In addition, 2009 emissions were higher than predicted, falling by only 1.3% from 2008 to 2009, instead of the predicted 2.8%.
(11/22/2010) As we approach crucial climate change negotiations in Cancún, Mexico the key question on many people’s minds is this: what nation or nations will have the courage to stand up to the United States, which still represents the key obstacle to a binding agreement on global warming? If it looked unlikely that the U.S. would reduce carbon emissions before, the recent midterm elections have made such a possibility seem even more remote: many incoming Republican legislators simply deny that global warming exists.
(11/03/2010) The US midterm election, which won Republicans the House but safeguarded the Senate for Democrats, has brought in a number of self-proclaimed climate change deniers, ending any likelihood that an energy bill will be passed over the next two years and essentially stumbling the White House’s strategy on climate change. Newly elected Republican Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky and Marc Rubio of Florida, both members of the nascent Tea Party, have stated they do not believe in climate change despite that scientists overwhelming agree the Earth is warming due to human impacts.