Small island nations want global treaty nowDecember 7th, 2011 - 7:27 pm ICT by IANS
Durban, Dec 7 (IANS) While major economies like China have proposed to take legal emission cuts post 2020, the Association of Small Island Nations (AOSIS) Wednesday rejected the proposal saying the world has already passed the tipping point and delay in action is not acceptable to them.
Speaking at the ministerial session at the UN climate change conference here, members of the AOSIS - an alliance of 42 small island states that are most threatened by climate changes - said that current pledges of emission cuts by some countries are not enough to save the planet.
Apisai Ielemia, environment minister of the Pacific Ocean nation of Tuvalu, said: “The country is suffering the worst drought in the history and we have no time to wait or else we will reach a point from where there will be no return.”
“We want a new protocol that can help in protecting the planet and its habitants. But we don’t want it in 2015 or 2020 but urgently,” he said.
Echoing the same thought, Mohamed Aslam, the environment minister of the Maldives, said: “We want a legally binding regime that guarantees our survival as we are on verge of sinking.”
“Some may think that there is still time but we have come to Durban focused on a legally binding regime. We seek mandate to start the process now and put in place a legally binding treaty no later than 2015,” he said.
Aslam said that the proposal of some countries of a legally binding agreement post 2020 is not acceptable to them and they have rejected it.
China has proposed that it is ready to take legal emission cuts post 2020 but with some conditions.
Small island nations are most vulnerable to climate change as rise in sea level due to melting of glaciers can totally submerge these countries.
Ruben Zachkhras, minister in assistance to the president of Marshall Islands (Pacific Ocean), emphasised on the need to improve the regime as a global solution to deal with climate change has been held hostage by the whim of one or two nations.
“International community has done little to tackle the problem and the future of my country is in danger. It is the time for action, as in last 21 years we have eluded it,” said Zachkhras.
The AOSIS has been demanding for a global treaty to cut down emissions besides money from rich nations to adapt to affects of climate change.
Gaspar Vega, deputy prime minister of the Central American nation of Belize, called for more commitment from developed countries to check the problem which has resulted in increase in extreme weather events, extinction of some species, food scarcity and water shortage.
(Richa Sharma can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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