Islands fear 'planet Pompeii'

2009-12-10 20:11

kalahari.com

  • Climate Change
    Read more about the environmental changes and challenges the world faces. Now R261.00
    buy now

Copenhagen - More than half the countries at 192-nation UN climate talks in Copenhagen back far tougher goals for limiting global warming than those favoured by rich nations, a group of small island states said on Monday.

The group, which says rising sea levels could wipe them off the map, complained that a 5m globe hanging in the Copenhagen conference centre omits many island states such as in the Pacific or the Indian Ocean.

Dessima Williams, head of the 43-member Alliance of Small Island States (Aosis), said more than 100 nations had signed up for a goal of limiting rises in temperatures to 1.5ºC above pre-industrial levels, up from 86 in August.

"Half of the UN is calling for ambitious and specific targets," Williams, of Grenada, told a news conference at the meeting among 192 nations trying to work out a new treaty to succeed the UN's Kyoto Protocol.

The least developed nations, mostly in Africa, and small island states all support the 1.5ºC goal that would require cuts in greenhouse gas emissions by rich nations of at least 45% from 1990 levels by 2020.

Any deal in Copenhagen will have to be agreed by unanimity. The depth of greenhouse gas cuts by the rich and the amount of funds on offer to help the poor are among major obstacles to a deal in Copenhagen.

'2ºC maximum limit'

Most developed nations and leading emerging economies, led by China and India, back a goal of limiting warming to a maximum 2ºC over pre-industrial times. Temperatures have already risen by 0.7ºC and are set to rise further.

"We are living on the front lines of climate change," Williams said, adding that Aosis wanted a legally binding treaty from Copenhagen rather than a mere political declaration favoured by many developed nations.

Even with current warming, she said many islands were suffering "significant damage, some are going under the sea, some are losing their fresh water supply." Some coral reefs were getting damaged by rising temperatures.

She dismissed suggestions of splits between the developing nations' group amid a dispute over a proposal by the Pacific Island state of Tuvalu for strong, legally binding pacts from Copenhagen for all nations.

She said Aosis members supported Tuvalu in principle but were still working out a common front. China and India favour legally binding cuts in greenhouse gases for rich nations in the Kyoto Protocol but less stringent obligations on the poor.

"A fine sounding political declaration from Copenhagen without a legally binding outcome is like a shark without teeth," said Barry Coates, a spokesperson for Oxfam.

Antonio Lima, of Cape Verde, the vice chair of Aosis, said climate change was a looming disaster for the poor - like the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius 2 000 years ago that buried the Roman city of Pompeii.

"They did not know what they were facing. Now we know what is going to happen. It will be the planet Pompeii," he said.

Read more on:    oxfam  |  climate change  |  cop15  |  kyoto protocol
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
2 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Red Bull Lionheart trail run - not for the fainthearted!

Entries are open, so what are you waiting for?

 
 

Where were you when you last felt alive?

Adventure holidays for your bucket list
Top 10 water sports to try before you die
6 impressive camping tips
LOL! The 8 stages of marathon running

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Deal of the week!

Save R1200 on the Samsung 48” smart full HD LED television now only R8799. Buy now!

Toys 4 for the price of 3

Buy 4 toys and get the cheapest FREE! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Mind blowing prices – As seen on TV

Get mind blowing prices on 1000’s of products! Shop now.

Save 20% on Nivea beauty products!

Buy any two Nivea beauty products and save 20%. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is an easy social flow and the need to blend in, yet you may not feel entirely comfortable. Something beneath the surface...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.