Red alert for blue planet and small island states

(Eco Business, 4 Nov 2019) This year’s climate conference was expected to be a Blue COP, with a focus on oceans and greater aid to nations most vulnerable to rising sea levels. But with COP25 in jeopardy after Chile’s withdrawal, will the voices of Pacific Islanders be heard?

Barely a week passes without alarming news of the most recent scientific research into the global climate crisis compounding a growing sense of urgency, particularly the impact on small island states from rising sea levels and extreme weather.

Latest findings suggest that several hundred million more people than previously thought are at risk of coastal flooding due to climate change. Climate Central, a non-profit research and news organisation, found data used in past calculations overstated the elevation of many low-lying coastal communities.

And for the people of the Bahamas who had just endured Hurricane Dorian, the most intense tropical cyclone on record to hit their islands, it came as little surprise when the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) soon after released its landmark special report on the planet’s oceans and frozen regions, warning of “multiple climate-related hazards” for coastal regions.

“The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive,” the IPCC report stated.

 The “Blue Pacific” concept sees the island states establishing themselves as “large ocean states” and guardians of the region rather than “small island states.

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Eco Business, 4 Nov 2019: Red alert for blue planet and small island states