Posted by: islandsfirst | June 2, 2008

Oceans Insecurity

No news is good news, so it’s a shame the oceans are making the headlines these days. The effects of ocean acidification on fish stocks, coral reefs and low-lying islands have all received attention. And while there was some cause for optimism, success in reversing climate change will be crucial in realizing such hopes.

Delegates in Bonn have just begun talks on a new carbon emissions agreement, while the final holdouts on its predecessor are having their own climate change debate. Unfortunately, the failure of the U.S. Senate to ratify the Climate Security Act of 2008 has global consequences. As Ian Fry, Tuvalu’s conference delegate explained to the Associated Press:

It’s unlikely we are going to make lot of progress this year because we need strong signals from the U.S., and that’s not going happen until the election.

Angela Anderson, the director of the Global Warming Campaign for the Pew Environment Group and a friend of Islands First, was more blunt:

Everyone refers to the U.S. as the elephant in the room. . . The new administration will have a challenge, but perhaps a welcome challenge. They can mend the U.S. reputation abroad by engaging constructively in the climate talks.

We’re keeping our fingers crossed that the United States follows Papua New Guinea’s lead and doesn’t miss the forest for the trees.

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