Forty two small island states have sent out an S.O.S. pleading with industrialised nations to act quickly over global warming.
Leaders of the Alliance of Small Island States or AOSIS say global temperature increases must be sharply curtailed and the only way to do that is to cut CO2 emissions. The small island nations, which include the Maldives, Tuvalu and Papua New Guinea are vulnerable to flooding from rising seas as the ice caps slowly melt. AOSIS says any new UN deal on climate change must include a comprehensive insurance programme for loss or damage to coastal hotels and loss of coral reefs from ocean acidification, another by-product of global warming. Negotiations are stalled over how to share the cost of emissions curbs between rich and poor countries and how to raise billions to help poor countries fight rising seas and desertification. Barack Obama’s fighting talk at the UN summit in New York has gone down well with ecologists but the countdown to December the 7 in Copenhagen has begun. The question now is: Will the representatives of the 190 nations taking part in the 11 day UN climate summit in the Danish capital find enough common ground to reach a deal?