December 10, 2009 12:45:02 pm
Highlighting the desperate situation that some small island nations were finding themselves in,Tuvalu,a small country near Australia,on Wednesday created quite a sensation at the climate change conference here,holding up the plenary for about half-an-hour after a formal discussion on its proposal was disallowed.
Tuvalu,one of the smallest countries in the world,threatened a walkout from the plenary and was supported by some other island states like Grenada and Trinidad and Tobago as well as some countries from Africa. Negotiations had to be suspended for some time as the chairperson constituted a small contact group to discuss the proposals put forward by Tuvalu.
Tuvalus proposal envisages deeper cuts in global emissions than those that
are currently under discussion. It also wants the world to work towards limiting the global temperature rise to within 1.5 degree rather than 2 degree that it is currently working towards.
Tuvalu is part of what is known as the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS),one of the six groupings that countries have divided them into on the basis of their common positions and demands.
The 43 countries in AOSIS,including Maldives,Fiji and Mauritius,are some of the most threatened areas in the world because of global warming and the resultant rise in sea levels. The AOSIS has never been comfortable with the 2 degree objective and has been consistently demanding that the limit should be 1.5 degree to avoid the complete submerging of the small island states because of sea level rise.
On his recent trip to India,the articulate Maldives President Mohammad Nasheed had repeatedly stressed that the world was writing the death warrants of the small islands by agreeing to a 2 degree objective and a 450 ppm limit for carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. The island states want the CO2 concentrations to be kept below 350 ppm,a herculean task considering that the present levels are already much above that limit.
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