Island Nations Lead Charge to Cut Super Greenhouse Gas Under Ozone Treaty
Palikir, Pohnpei (FSM Information Services): July 22, 2009 - Geneva, Switzerland, July 18, 2009 - A group of vulnerable island States formally announced today that they are co-sponsoring a proposal to phase down "super greenhouse gases" known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol ozone treaty.
This broader group of island States joined the initiative of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) and Mauritius. FSM and Mauritius were the original proponents of curbing HFC emissions under the Montreal Protocol, a fast-acting treaty that can reduce climate impacts, including the risk of rising sea levels.
The island States co-sponsoring the FSM-Mauritius proposal include the Seychelles, Kiribati, Samoa, the Cook Islands, Papua New Guinea, Comoros, Madagascar, and Palau. In addition, South Africa expressed support on behalf of the African Group for continuing discussions of the climate issues raised by FSM and Mauritius.
"HFCs present a significant threat to the world's efforts to stabilize climate emissions, said Dr. Guus Velders of The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency who presented new scientific findings to the Parties in Geneva. Dr. Velders added, "Because of the projected growth of these climate warming chemicals, they could represent up to 45% of total global CO2 emissions by 2050 under a scenario that stabilizes CO2 emissions at 450 ppm. Preventing strong growth in HFC use is an important climate mitigation option the world has now." Dr. Velders was the lead author of the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last month.
Manny Mori, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, said:
Antonio Oposa, lead negotiator for the Federated States of Micronesia at this week's Montreal Protocol meetings in Geneva, said:
The Republic of the Marshall Islands, Republic of the Fiji Islands, and Papua New Guinea also joined in sending the letter to President Obama.
Sateeaved Seebaluck, head of the Mauritius delegation, said:
These countries are comprised of nearly 800 islands and have a population of more than 29 million people.
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