Small Island States Fear "Annihilation" From Failed Climate Negotiations, Protests Mark COP17 Closing Hours

Karl Hood, Grenada's Minister of Foreign Affairs and chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), responded to a question from veteran ABC correspondent Bill Blakemore about the fact that climate scientists believe it is impossible to keep global warming below 1.5C above pre-industrial levels: “If they're saying that 1.5 isn't possible, are you asking us then to accept annihilation?”

Watch Hood respond to Blakemore's question:

H/T ThinkProgress for the news and the video

Yesterday, U.S. climate envoy Todd Stern said that he considers the 2°C goal codified by the G8 and the Cancun Accords to be a “guidepost,” not a “cap that you must meet.”

The frustration felt by delegates from AOSIS, the Least Developed Countries (LDC), and others - especially the YOUNGO youth delegates whose future is imperiled by inaction - is coming to a head in the final hours of COP17 in Durban.

Earlier today, six members of the Canadian Youth Delegation had their credentials stripped after they stood up and turned their backs during Canadian Environment Minister Peter Kent's speech. Watch this clip, courtesy of Democracy NOW!:

The Canadian youth protest came on the heels of an even stronger rebuke yesterday by 21-year-old Middlebury College junior, Abigail Borah, who stood up as U.S. negotiator Todd Stern took the stage to address the delegates. Borah gave him a piece of her mind on behalf of American youth.

Watch Amy Goodman's excellent Democracy NOW! report about Ms. Borah's protest and the fallout:

The New York Times recaps Borah's statement of protest and the reaction:

Scores of delegates and observers gave her a sustained ovation. Then the South African authorities threw her out of the conference. Mr. Stern smiled as if the applause were for him and then continued with his prepared remarks.

With just one day to go - and nothing close to a legally-binding agreement in sight - hopes are fading once again for meaningful action to address climate change. It seems the “most powerful” nations on the planet are in fact the biggest cowards when it comes to tackling the most urgent challenge of our times.


“If they’re saying that 1.5 isn’t possible……”  = ‘then please send $$$$$ asap.’

I don’t understand it. We’ve not had 1 full degree of warming since pre-industrial times and we need to worry about waiting until 2020 (9 years) to see if there is any reason at all to support a new treaty on carbon reduction? Do these people think the climate is going to suddenly take off or something?

The soon to vanish under the blue waves nations of the aosis need help. They need your money now… so they can build  dykes.

They also need to be told what dykes are.

Member nations like the Bahamas  know all about building large resort hotels on the beach but they don’t seem to know about dykes. That’s really unfortunate.

Here’s an idea. We should require every vacationer visiting those resorts to bring with him a shovel or at least a sandbag in order to contribute to dyke building and we should also send some kind of dyke building information.

Sometimes wonder if they really beleive these dramatics. The youth I can understand as they are neccesarily naive but the representative for some island, come on. One good thing about the internet is that it captures all of these misstatements so years later we can all have a good laugh.


… is that they have nothing to loose, and they certainly won’t be out of a job for doing what they do.

Its later in life for me.  I need cash and I make money from the oil majors for what I do.

I can’t pay my considerable mortage or raise my kids while attempting to make bail.

The best I can do is hide my real name and try to counter garbage you drivel out.

Some would call that hypocritical others would just call it very telling. Much like al gore there is no reason to practise what you preach as we both know it’s a fairytale.

China is sitting on 300 years of shale gas. No wonder they don’t want to do any climate deals.