Last night’s rally with President Nasheed of the Maldives was just one of the ways we’re working to help bulid momentum for island nations and others on the front-lines of the climate fight. It’s the least we can do: island nations are coming under extraodinary pressure right now to back down off of 350 ppm and their proposals for a fair, ambitious and binding climate deal here in Copenhagen.

Pasted below is a great article that is getting printed in papers across the Caribbean right now. When we think of important media, we often think about CNN, the BBC, or the New York Times, but in politics, it’s often the local news that matters most. To have a strong message of survival resonating throughout island nations is exactly what we need at this point, not just for the islands, but for all of us: 

No Retreat, No Surrender: Small Islands gaining support as they fight for survival

By Indi Mclymont-Lafayette and Horace Fisher

Panos Caribbean

Small islands states (including the Caribbean) jumped into the spotlight of the United Nations Climate Change discussions in Copenhagen, Denmark when they introduced their own draft text into the negotiations with tremendous support from another 53 non-island countries and the global lobby group,

“We are on the frontlines of the climate change crisis – some of our islands will disappear… we accept that but we want an agreement that will ensure our survival,” Krispin Gregoire, the Dominican representative of the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) told journalists on Friday. He explained that AOSIS had done their own text to encourage further dialogue.

“We released… AOSIS proposal for the survival of the (Kyoto) protocol – as of now the (AOSIS position  – our text is seen as the basis for further talks,” he said. “We believe that with a week to go, there is plenty of time left. We want strong emissions reduction from all nations – all countries have a responsibility in this.”

The AOSIS document calls for legally binding agreements that will ensure the survival of the existing Kyoto Protocol on climate change as well long term action on the issues. It also covers major issues such financing, adaptation and technology transfer.

“We want predictable financing to finance insurance and measures to reduce risk from climate impacts,” said Gregoire.

“Today we have put forward a proposal for a legally binding agreement to secure the twin objectives of survival of the Kyoto Protocol and to strengthen the UNFCCC with a new ‘Copenhagen’ Protocol that can be adopted here in Copenhagen”, said Ambassador Dessima Williams of Grenada and AOSIS chair in a press release.

AOSIS has been advocating for developed countries to set stronger emission targets that would result in limiting global average temperatures to at least 1.5 degrees Celsius and also stabilising the greenhouse gas levels (especially carbon dioxide) to 350 parts per million. If these targets are not set, the small islands fear that their countries will disappear due to sea level rise and other climate impacts over the next 50 -100 years. Experts have already predicted that the Caribbean island of Barbuda will sink in about 60 years.

AOSIS concerns have been attracting international support from some of the other 192 countries that are part of the United Nations Climate talks going on in Copenhagen as well as global lobby group

Read the entire article here.

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