It should come as no surprise that small island developing states (SIDS) are taking the helm and navigating the waters of climate change. Without a binding global agreement that takes their needs into proper consideration, many of them are choosing to act in their own interests rather than go down with the climate ship – not because it’s altruistic, but because it is necessary to help pay the cost of adaptation to climate change, which is a problem to which they contributed little in the first place.

Fortunately, support mechanisms are being established to boost these efforts. Aamong them are the Low-Carbon Energy Roadmaps that Worldwatch is currently undertaking for countries like the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Haiti.

Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It's not. - Dr. Seuss

Of course, island countries must be proactive. As Jon Barnett and John Campbell note in their book, Climate Change and Small Island States, the discussion around climate change and its repercussions has framed island states as “vulnerable,” suggesting that they cannot fend for themselves and are reliant on larger powers to act to help them. But without a binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions, particularly one that provides resources to pay for adaptation measures, it is ridiculous to think that the larger powers are going to step in and do much of anything. (The book’s authors also point out that the larger actors should start by changing their consumption patterns and lowering emissions.)

With the hazardous effects of climate change looming, SIDS have no choice but to act. Again, this is more about necessity than it is about being eco-friendly (although it is a nice example to set). These government s cannot afford to be reliant on fossil fuels and will soon have to add “adaptation” to their expenditures. Here’s a small list of what some islands are doing to lower their oil imports bill:

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adaptation, AOSIS, carribean, Climate Change, climate effects, developing countries, energy security, renewable energy, small island developing states