Climate divide

"Frontline" Climate States Demand Change

From underwater meetings to political forums, the Maldives continue to be a hub for global-warming activism. This week the small nation hosted a climate-change forum, in which the countries most vulnerable to human-produced global warming (i.e. developing nations that are vulnerable to the sea or dependent on rain) pieced together a declaration outlining their most pertinent concerns and requests. Timed to raise awareness and place pressure on wealthy countries as Copenhagen treaty talks near, the declaration encompasses Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, but focuses on the differences between “frontline” states and “developed” states—those who produce the most carbon. The declaration cites the latter’s “overwhelming historic responsibility for causing anthropogenic climate change,” and charges them to “secure climate justice for the world’s poorest and most vulnerable communities” by reducing emission targets to “well below” 1.5 degrees (Celsius) and leading the world in addressing the “building blocks of an enhanced international climate-change regime.”