Island Nations: COP26 might be the “last stand” to keep 1.5C alive

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  • Climate

Glasgow – 1 November 2021 – Small island states have laid down the gauntlet ahead of critical showdown climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland. Citing the “terrifying” implications of the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change’s latest scientific report, lead negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), Lia Nicholson did not mince words in her opening statement on behalf of the group. “AOSIS’ stance is clear: we call on all Parties to submit an enhanced NDC (climate plan)…” she said, “…Governments must be called to account and explain to the world and their own people what could be more urgent than this crisis and the failure to act.” Ms Nicholson is a delegate of Antigua and Barbuda, a small Caribbean nation especially prone to hurricanes. She also had strong words for developed nations and their failure to keep their $100bn per year climate promise to developing nations by 2020, now projected to be delivered by 2023. “$100 billion in 2023 is three years too late. This delay has very real impacts on the lives and livelihoods of climate victims now.” She noted that the continued subsidisation of fossil fuels added further “insult to injury”. AOSIS is explicitly calling for the for the phase out of all fossil fuel subsidies in major economies by 2023. Ms Nicholson warned that developed nations continued failure to act will force islands’ hand in seeking compensation for “loss and damage” incurred. “Climate finance is not charity. There are no ‘donors’ in this process. This is about climate justice… if countries continue to renege on agreed mitigation and finance obligations, there will be a reckoning.”