Sunday 5 April, 2020

Island nations brace for the consequences of decisions made at COP25

Island Nations may be adversely affected by decisions made at the United Nations Climate Change Conference earlier this month.

Policy Fellow for the Centre of Science and Policy at the University of Cambridge, Benito Wheatley, said the outcome of COP25 is very disappointing. He said reports published earlier this year, indicate that the climate emergency is worsening as global warming continues to rise even more rapidly than initially forecasted.

 “The world is way off target in terms of limiting global warming to 1.5 Celsius as agreed in the Paris climate change agreement” he said.

Mr. Wheatley’s position echoed the pleas of several island states, who campaigned for new commitments to reduce carbon emissions. During the conference, they also pushed hard for increased financing for poorer countries on the frontline of the crisis.

The 44-member Alliance of Small Islands States issued a statement, voicing their displeasure with the conclusion of the conference. They said the result fell far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the 2015 Paris accord.

 “As COP25 draws to a close and islands wade through and beyond the glitzy public relations and buzzwords, we are astounded. We are appalled and dismayed at the failure to come to a decision on critical issues, the scale of inaction, ineffective processes, and some parties’ yeoman commitment to obstruction and regressive anti-science positions” the statement said.

One of the main goals of the conference, was to finalise and adopt Article Six of the Paris Agreement. This would have allowed rules to be set for a carbon market, designed in part to incentivise emission cuts, by allowing countries to fund climate work abroad, in exchange for credits back home.

That decision was bumped to the COP26, which will be held in Scotland next year.

Though disappointed by this result, some island representatives believe a delay is better than adopting a bad deal.

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