Saturday, 12 December 2009

Strong support behind AOSIS

Rachna Lal, USP Journalism, Climate Pasifika
Copenhagen 11 December- fully support the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) who is the "David" battling the "Goliath" at the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.  Yesterday, AOSIS proposed what has since been dubbed the Copenhagen Protocol designed to safeguard the Earth’s climate system and to secure the survival of its members.

In a joint press conference with AOSIS and, the founder, Bill McKibben said the text presented by AOSIS was the first really rational attempt to do what needed doing.

“The text grapples in many ways what science has been telling us over the last couple of years.  The AOSIS draft backed by all kinds of countries talks very specifically about a target 350ppm, a number which millions of people all around the world have been endorsing for the last 18 months precisely because science supports this."

He claims this AOSIS "Copenhagen Protocol" will prevent every kind of disaster that is breaking now, aswell as save the small islands nations.

“Some people will say these are small nations. But they have an army behind them with millions of people endorsing the efforts of AOSIS at 3000 vigils in every corner of the world," said McKibben.

"This weekend they will back the draft text to the hilt.  We will not back down, we will do this over and over until we win this fight.”

McKibbens perspective of AOSIS was further endorsed by Ricken Patel the Avaaz Director who believes that people have been looking for a champion and they found it in AOSIS.

“It is a really clear deal that we set for our leaders and that is what AOSIS calls for – it requires a legally binding treaty – an enforceable treaty. It requires a level of ambition to bring us down to a safe level of 350ppm,” Patel said.

“It also requires a fair amount of funding at least $200 billion by 2020 in finance.”

Ambassador Lima Joins, the joined both Bill McKibben and Ricken Patel in a joint press conference at COP 15.

“We are not negotiating business here, we are negotiating our survival,” said Joins.

“We are here to let them know we do not want to be forgotten and if we do not get 1.5 degrees, we will die ignored by the world.”

Joins, like his counterparts in AOSIS, is adamant not to leave Copenhagen without a legally binding agreement.

“If we leave Copenhagen without a strong commitment, how can we go in front of our children and tell them we could not do anything to save their future,” he added.

His disbelief was that the major emitters of the world could not see the disasters raging caused by climate change and how they would be prepared not to do anything about it.

“It is not us who have put the waste in he atmosphere yet it is us who are the first to have to suffer. So those who put the waste in the atmosphere have to clean it up.”

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