43 Island "Nation-States" feel like Deserted Islands
from the Los Angeles Times (Registration Required)
Cancun, Mexico -- In the scrum of 9,000 negotiators gathered in Cancun to wrangle over a global climate treaty Ronny Jumeau has no patience for diplomatic niceties.
"I won't shut up," said the pugnacious chief of the three-member delegation from Seychelles, an Indian Ocean archipelago. ... Jumeau is a member of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a negotiating bloc of 43 nations already suffering the ill effects of climate change: longer droughts, bigger floods, stronger hurricanes and rising seas. The countries circle the globe from the Pacific to the Caribbean to the Indian Ocean, and they are furious that the industrial nations--the big emitters of greenhouse gases--are not moving fast enough to ensure their survival.
As the 12-day summit moves into high gear this week, small island nations may be the noisiest critics, but they are hardly alone in their frustration that a legally binding agreement to reduce planet-heating pollutants has no chance to be concluded here.