There is an important article in the New York Times today that reports on the work that the most vulnerable countries are doing here in Copenhagen to fight for a Real Deal, not a suicide pact. As the conference continues, the momentum for climate action that meets the latest science is building. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
The goal around which much of the climate debate revolves is an attempt to keep the average rise in global temperatures to no more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above preindustrial levels.
But Dessima M. Williams, the ambassador for Grenada at the U.N. in New York, and the chairwoman of the Alliance of Small Island States, said her group was seeking an even lower target. "We’ve got a lot of fish turning up dead, and that’s hurting our fishing industry, and our coral reef is dying and that has effects on the tourist market," Ms. Williams said.
She also noted that hurricanes earlier this decade that were particularly ferocious had been linked by some researchers to warming seas, and that her country’s economy still had not recovered from the damage.
Ms. Williams would not say whether a walkout was part of her strategy, only that "we will have to consider our options."
Underscoring the tension over temperature thresholds, a group of poverty and climate campaigners marched through the conference center shouting "2 degrees suicide!" late Tuesday evening. The smaller nations in Copenhagen also feel pushed around by the organizers of the conference, and it did not take long for the jousting to begin – led by Mr. Conrad of Papua New Guinea.
We can’t let the most vulnerable get pushed around here in Copenhagen, or anywhere. That’s why it’s so important for you to join thousands in taking action this weekend — your vigil or climate rally will be an essential show of support for those on the front lines of the climate battle.