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To prevent inundation, Island states want ‘decisive’ climate action

The impact of rising sea level prompts plea ahead of the UN climate change conference
The impact of rising sea level prompts plea ahead of the UN climate change conference

The Island countries which are at risk of deluge from climate chaos have issued an impassioned plea to the industrialized world. The plea is issued ahead of crucial negotiations on the Paris agreement that start on Monday in Madrid.

Janine Felson, deputy chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) said that “We see [these talks] as the last opportunity to take decisive action.” Furthermore, “Anything short of vastly greater commitment to emission reduction signals a willingness to accept catastrophe.”

If temperatures rise to more than 1.5C above preindustrial levels it is likely to inundate Pacific atolls and other low-lying islands. The current Paris commitments have already warned the world against a “disastrous” 3C.

In a joint statement, the leaders of the 44 states of AOSIS said, “We are mired in a planetary emergency of existential proportion.” The statement also mentions that “The impacts are real and current for people living on small islands” and it “does not have to be our destiny or legacy.”

The lead negotiator for the Marshall Islands, Clarence Samuel said that the small islands are at greatest risk whereas the rich countries were also suffering. Moreover, he mentions that “None of us are immune.”  

He also mentioned about the recent wildfire in Australia saying that “we have literally watched their country burn,” The wildfire was “fuelled by a climate crisis of our own making,” he said.

The Countries need far tougher targets to fulfill the Paris goals on emissions.  The negotiations for the year will begin from 2 December to 13 December – known as COP25. The negotiation will focus on technical issues such as a mechanism for trading carbon within the Paris agreement.

According to 2015 Paris agreement, countries are supposed to set out more ambitious climate action in 2020, when current targets expire. To ratchet the national goals, Governments were given the five-year grace period.  

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