Impact of climate deal on smaller, developing nations

World Today

Perhaps nowhere are the effects of climate change more drastically felt than among small island states. Rising sea levels are redefining coastlines, and extreme weather is already forcing migration.

Could this agreement help avert a worst case scenario?  CCTV’s Liling Tan reports from the United Nations.
Follow Liling Tan on Twitter @LilingTan

Impact of climate deal on smaller, developing nations

Perhaps nowhere are the effects of climate change more drastically felt than among small island states.

For island nations from the Caribbean to the Pacific to the Indian Ocean, the tides are already turning as global warming wreaks havoc; eroding coastlines, causing record tides and extreme weather events.

Many of them will be dealt a double-blow. A new study by the journal Nature Climate Change estimates up to 73 percent of island states, home to 16 million people, will face increasingly dry conditions by the middle of this century. While rising sea levels are swallowing up their coastlines.

To avert disaster, island nations including the Maldives, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Marshall Islands, have signed on to the historic climate agreement.

“There is definitely no Plan B for these countries. These countries are on the floodgates of climate change and if front-line states are rallying behind this Paris Agreement and what was delivered in Paris, I think we have something here to work with and build on to ensure these countries and their people have a viable future,” Selwin Hart, Director of UNSG Climate Change Support Team said.

While the most threatened, these are also the countries that emit the least greenhouse gases, which is why this Paris Agreement also encourages richer developed nations, the world’s major emitters of greenhouse gases, to help the poorer and most vulnerable ones.

As part of the deal, richer developed nations will send $100 billion a year to help developing states build climate resilience and put their countries and economies on a low-carbon path.

In a sign of eagerness to see its measures take effect, 13 small island nations are fully ratifying the Paris accord at the U.N. going beyond the signing ceremony to submit their action plans on how each of them will do their part.