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Small Islands calling for firm decisions at Durban climate meetingsSmall Islands calling for firm decisions at Durban climate meetings

By Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, Journalist
Durban, South Africa. November 30, 2011 – The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) – including Caribbean islands such as Jamaica – are calling for firm decisions to be taken re the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (a United Nations treaty which deals with Greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets) at the 17th UN meeting on climate change being held in Durban, South Africa.
“AOSIS is insisting that delaying decisions re the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol or waiting until 2020 to decide on a new instrument under the United Nations Framework Convention will be detrimental to many small islands,” said Clifford Mahlung, Jamaica’s chief negotiator and a representative of the AOSIS.
“We want a second commitment period decision now (at this meeting). We want to see the major elements of a new agreement announced including the legal format while we are still here in Durban.”
Mahlung was speaking on the third day of negotiations at the UN climate change meeting which will run from November 28 – December 9, 2011. One of the issues being debated at the meeting is whether a second commitment period will be agreed upon for the Kyoto Protocol (the current agreement ends in 2012) or whether a new agreement will be formulated to replace the existing one.
According to Mahlung, the longer it takes to make the decisions is the more dire it will be for small islands who are experiencing severe climate impacts such as sea-level rise, more intense hurricanes and prolonged droughts. AOSIS is calling for strong targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If these targets are met, it is expected that the climate impacts for the small islands may be lessened in the long run.
Mahlung is a part of a 8 member Jamaican team attending the UN meeting. The other Jamaican delegates include acting head of Jamaica’s Meteorological Office, Jeffrey Spooner, Leonie Barnaby from Office of the Prime Minister, Keith Porter from the Forestry Division, Hopeton Peterson from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Nicolette Williams from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Journalists Indi Mclymont-Lafayette from Panos Caribbean and Carol Francis from the Radio Jamaica Group of Companies.
Other Caribbean delegates include representatives from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize: Carlos Fuller, Kenrick Leslie, Negotiators Crispin d’Auvergne and Alma Jean from St Lucia, Negotiator Leon Charles from Grenada, Tesha Burke from the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, negotiator Kishan Kumarsingh and Journalist Linda Hutchinson from Trinidad and Tobago.
The Caribbean countries are an active block of the 43 member AOSIS group. (End30/11/11)
Photo caption
The official Jamaican delegation enjoys a quick chat at the UN Climate talks. From left is Acting head of Jamaica’s Meteorological Office, Jeffrey Spooner, Nicolette Williams from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clifford Mahlung – Jamaica’s Chief negotiator, Hopeton Peterson from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Keith Porter from the Forestry Department and Leonie Barnaby from Office of the Prime Minister.
Zadie P. Neufville (Miss) MA. MSc.
Communications and Product
Development Specialist

By Indi Mclymont-Lafayette, Journalist
Durban, South Africa. November 30, 2011 – The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) – including Caribbean islands such as Jamaica – are calling for firm decisions to be taken re the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol (a United Nations treaty which deals with Greenhouse gas emissions and climate targets) at the 17th UN meeting on climate change being held in Durban, South Africa.
“AOSIS is insisting that delaying decisions re the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol or waiting until 2020 to decide on a new instrument under the United Nations Framework Convention will be detrimental to many small islands,” said Clifford Mahlung, Jamaica’s chief negotiator and a representative of the AOSIS.
“We want a second commitment period decision now (at this meeting). We want to see the major elements of a new agreement announced including the legal format while we are still here in Durban.”
Mahlung was speaking on the third day of negotiations at the UN climate change meeting which will run from November 28 – December 9, 2011. One of the issues being debated at the meeting is whether a second commitment period will be agreed upon for the Kyoto Protocol (the current agreement ends in 2012) or whether a new agreement will be formulated to replace the existing one.
According to Mahlung, the longer it takes to make the decisions is the more dire it will be for small islands who are experiencing severe climate impacts such as sea-level rise, more intense hurricanes and prolonged droughts. AOSIS is calling for strong targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. If these targets are met, it is expected that the climate impacts for the small islands may be lessened in the long run.
Mahlung is a part of a 8 member Jamaican team attending the UN meeting. The other Jamaican delegates include acting head of Jamaica’s Meteorological Office, Jeffrey Spooner, Leonie Barnaby from Office of the Prime Minister, Keith Porter from the Forestry Division, Hopeton Peterson from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Nicolette Williams from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Journalists Indi Mclymont-Lafayette from Panos Caribbean and Carol Francis from the Radio Jamaica Group of Companies.
Other Caribbean delegates include representatives from the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre in Belize: Carlos Fuller, Kenrick Leslie, Negotiators Crispin d’Auvergne and Alma Jean from St Lucia, Negotiator Leon Charles from Grenada, Tesha Burke from the Caribbean Youth Environment Network, negotiator Kishan Kumarsingh and Journalist Linda Hutchinson from Trinidad and Tobago.
The Caribbean countries are an active block of the 43 member AOSIS group. (End30/11/11)
Photo caption
The official Jamaican delegation enjoys a quick chat at the UN Climate talks. From left is Acting head of Jamaica’s Meteorological Office, Jeffrey Spooner, Nicolette Williams from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clifford Mahlung – Jamaica’s Chief negotiator, Hopeton Peterson from the Planning Institute of Jamaica, Keith Porter from the Forestry Department and Leonie Barnaby from Office of the Prime Minister.
Zadie P. Neufville (Miss) MA. MSc.
Communications and Product
Development Specialist

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