Island Nations Agree on Plan to Cap Emissions, Join Carbon Markets

One of the biggest breakthroughs at the Copenhagen climate talks was just achieved by some of the world's smallest countries.

An association called the Small Island Developing Nations signed an agreement this morning to cap greenhouse gas emissions and take advantage of financing opportunities in the global carbon market.

The initiative won praise from EDF's climate and air director Peter Goldmark:

Small islands have to act boldly because for them climate change is already a matter of life and death … this is a dramatic move from rhetoric to action … let's hope the rest of us take a lesson and move ahead courageously.

The group of island nations, led by Grenada, agreed to work together to increase energy efficiency, lower fossil fuel consumption and adopt hard line targets for lowering their greenhouse gas emissions.

The groundbreaking agreement, officially called SIDS Dock, is also an investment vehicle. It will allow the island states to plug into carbon markets and generate financing when they take a hard emissions cap. That financing will make it possible for the islands to transition from high-cost, high-carbon, largely imported fuels to a clean and more affordable economy. 

Goldmark says:

They will be able to take advantage of preferential terms for carbon market access like those contained in the U.S. House-passed clean energy bill.

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