Small Island Press Release on Conclusion of Climate Talks

14 June 2013, Bonn, Germany—At the closing of the latest round of U.N. climate talks, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a group of 44 low-lying and coastal countries that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, released the following statement:

“After losing two weeks to needless procedural wrangling, it is worth recalling the scale of the challenge we face and the precious little time remaining to meet it.

“Research clearly shows that unless we begin to reduce emissions in the next few years, the opportunity to keep global warming below the crucial 1.5 degree Celsius threshold may be irrevocably lost.

“This means that the international community must immediately turn its attention to implementing policies and technologies proven to rapidly reduce the greenhouse emissions responsible for the crisis.

“We therefore welcomed the opportunity to present our proposal to complement the climate negotiations with a more technical and focused process capable of delivering near-term results and look forward to launching the work at COP19 in Warsaw.

“Unfortunately, unavoidable losses and damage resulting from sea level rise, ocean acidification, and storm surges, to name only a few of the worsening climate impacts, represent a new normal for island communities around the world. Therefore an international mechanism to address the permanent injury our islands are experiencing must be established this year at the Warsaw conference.

“In relation to our work to progress the 2015 agreement under the ADP, we urge the incoming Co-Chairs to move us to more focused concrete discussions in Warsaw so we can accelerate progress towards a new protocol, mindful that time is growing vanishingly small.

“We urge climate negotiators to work diligently in the months leading up to the Warsaw conference to progress their work so we can arrive ready to hit the ground running.”

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