A declaration of rights for Mother Earth is what they want. But, as indigenous Bolivians performed a ceremony on the sidelines of UN climate talks, splits in the developing world’s position emerged.
On one side, there are richer nations like China which fear having to make emission cuts that could hamper their growth. On the other, there are small island states demanding tougher action.
Pacific island state Tuvalu demanded talks be suspended until the matter was resolved.
As Tuvalu battles for a new legally-binding deal, its plight and that of other small islands vulnerable to climate change was highlighted by protesters in Copenhagen.
“As an islander, I feel disappointed that all the developing countries are concerned about right now is themselves. Their own financial issues,” said Ashwini Prabha from Fiji. “They are not even concerned about the survival of the islands. The mood is getting hot and angry. It is not just my island getting hot. The mood at these climate negotiations is heating up.”
Some islands have already disappeared under water in the face of global warming. A new study says that over the next four decades, climate change stands to drive as many as one billion people from their homes.