Small-Island States express alarm over increase in greenhouse gas emissions ahead of climate conference

Dessima Williams

The Alliance of Small Islands States – AOSIS – an alliance of 43 island states in the Caribbean and Mediterranean Seas and the Pacific and Indian Oceans plan to be in Durban for this weekend's opening of the COP 27 Conference on Climate Change.

Chairman of AOSIS Ambassador Dessima Williams of Grenada told reporters that the alliance has been participating in the climate dialogue throughout the year at all venues where meetings were held in Madrid, Cape Town, Pretoria, Bangladesh.

Dessima Williams:  Regarding our actions, we are very pleased to announce when we launched the SIDS-doc programme of energy efficiency and renewable energy in Cancun last December. One year later we will be able to announce in Durban that the project has been launched; that the project has been financed; that the project is a partnership of action in the area of emissions reductions and efficiency in particular. So that is the action we have taken – the specific energy-related mitigation response to climate change in 24 of our islands.

Ambassador Williams pointed to a series of scientific reports throughout the year that indicate that the last year was one in which the largest volume of green house gases ever was emitted in the atmosphere.

Dessima Williams:  Many of the studies indicate that when we should be decreasing emissions, we have been increasing. So all the evidence is there that we are in a situation of mounting emergencies for the islands which are already experiencing the wraith of climate change in the form of sea-level rise, in the form of unscheduled or unpredicted in scale and duration and frequency of hurricanes and cyclones. And we are experiencing the revenue-loss that comes from the bleaching of the coral, the destruction of the coastal properties, the loss of agriculture and on a humanitarian level, we are experiencing water rationing for example in many of the Pacific Islands – drought in the Caribbean, including in my own country.

Ambassador Williams stressed that the scientific evidence was there. People's experience of the climate events were also on the table.

Dessima Williams:  Against that background, both all our people, our business communities, our village communities cannot wait for global negotiations to agree to bring down and to regulate greenhouse gas emissions after 2015. We cannot wait for after 2015. We see the evidence and it confirms that the world's window of climate safety is closing. The world's window for climate safety is closing and our main message is that we should not allow that window to close; we must act strongly by 2015, no later to take ambitious actions to bring down emissions so that we have a chance of meeting in the first instance – the 2 degrees C set and with the review the 1.5 degree that we believe is a safe range for the global average temperature.

NAR: Chairman of the Alliance of Small island States –AOSIS, Ambassador Dessima Williams of Grenada.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 3’35″

Filed under Caribbean News.
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