AOSIS Ministers: Our Survival Hinges on Ambition
DOHA—Following the Alliance of Small Island States’ (AOSIS) High Level Meeting on Sunday, ministers and heads of delegation from the coalition of 43 countries that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, together released the following statement reaffirming the group’s positions at the start of the final week of UN climate talks here:
“We begin the final week of negotiations in Doha with the sober recognition that time is running out to prevent the loss of entire nations and other calamities in our membership and around the world.
“Since we last met in Durban, many of our countries have endured numerous extreme, and in some cases deadly, weather events, such as prolonged droughts, heat waves, floods, and superstorms—not to mention accelerating sea level rise and increasing ocean acidification.
“If the onslaught of disasters is not enough to convince the world to act, a series of scientific reports released immediately before the start of the talks should leave no doubt: without bold action to close the ambition gap we are on track for 3-5 degree Celsius rise in temperature and a global catastrophe. Another analysis that showed limiting global warming below 2 degrees C – or even to below 1.5 degrees remains technically and economically feasible, but only with political ambition backed by rapid action. That must start here in Doha.
“The package AOSIS agreed to in Durban last year was contingent upon immediately raising mitigation ambition in the short-term. Our positions all derive from this climate imperative:
“First, the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol should be for a length of five-years to avoid locking-in insufficient mitigation ambition and provisional application remains the strongest available legal option for avoiding a legal gap between the first and second commitment periods.
“Second, the use of surplus units from the first commitment period must be strictly limited in the second commitment period, and we must avoid the creation of new surplus at the outset of the second commitment period to protect the environmental integrity of the treaty.
“Third, parties must reaffirm that legally binding QELROS inscribed in Annex B for the second commitment period are required for all Annex I Parties wishing to participate in the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms.
“Furthermore, those few Annex 1 countries that are not parties to the Kyoto Protocol must also take more ambitious and comparable mitigation commitments under the LCA.
“Lastly, here in Doha, we must have a decision to ramp up mitigation ambition in 2013 under the Workplan, by agreeing to activities that enable countries to take more ambitious action and close the ambition gap.
“The science is clear: further delay would mean the opportunity to avert a global calamity would be irrevocably lost.”