UN climate change chief warns that any agreement must include US participation.
Mohamed Hassan, Somalia
The UN’s climate panel says seas could rise by 18 to 59cms this century, threatening the economies of small island states that often depend on farming, fishing and tourism.
Seas rose 17cms over the past century.
The group said that even the most ambitious goals by industrial nations were insufficient to avoid dangerous change.
The EU has set a target of limiting warming to a temperature rise of 2 Celsius (3.6 F) over pre-industrial levels.
“Emissions must be reduced at a level that ensures that global temperature rise remains well below 2C,” the alliance said in a statement.
Small islands also said they would need far more aid as they feel the impact of climate change.
“The infrastructure needs alone of the most vulnerable countries could measure in the billions” of dollars, Friday said.
The government of the Maldives, for instance, needed $175 million to build a barrier around a single coral island to make the atoll “twice the height of this chair” above sea level, he said.
“We are not in this process as beggars,” said Clifford Mahlung of Jamaica, adding that small islands were not to blame for climate change.
“In Jamaica we used to repair coastal roads from erosion and storms once every four years,” he said.
“With what is happening now we have to repair those roads four times a year.”
Friday said Grenada, long considered south of the Caribbean hurricane belt, had been reclassified after two storms within 10 months in 2004-05.
Losses from Hurricane Ivan alone in 2004 were $800 million.
But he also said that small island states had dropped past threats to sue the United States, the top emitter of greenhouse gases, for compensation.