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The University of Southampton
Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute

Beyond 1.5 to stay alive: Small Island Developing States and Policy Change

Published: 10 December 2021
Small island

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are at a critical juncture: they are reliant on reforms in global institutions that need to happen quickly. SIDS have immense potential to innovate and adapt to global conditions, but they are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts and other external shocks and face significant structural challenges in managing these risks.

UN Member States have acknowledged that SIDS are a special case for sustainable development, but this needs to translate into greater support and coordination of climate and development cooperation. Reforms are needed across development assistance, debt and climate finance.

A group of researchers from the United Kingdom and the Caribbean and Pacific regions Initiative – Dr Emily Wilkinson, Dr Michelle Scobie, Dr Courtney Lindsay, SMMI member Prof Jack Corbett, Dr George Carter, Rachid Bouhia and Dr Matthew Bishop –  aim to support SIDS with these reforms through the Sustainable and Resilient Islands Initiative.

As part of their work and of the 2021 Festival of Social Sciences of the University of Southampton, an online event entitled “Beyond 1.5 to Stay Alive: Small Island Developing States and Policy Change at CoP26” took place on Nov 24th 2021. The event featured the work of the Sustainable and Resilient Islands Initiative at CoP26 around the manners in which the current climate finance regime is detrimental to SIDS, which was presented in a 20 minutes film video and followed by a panel discussion chaired by SMMI Policy Research Fellow Dr Wassim Dbouk.

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