Climate change, islands and net zero

Sindico, Francesco; Randall, Jim, ed. (2022) Climate change, islands and net zero. In: Islands Economic Cooperation Forum. Island Studies Press, Charlottetown PEI, pp. 107-134.

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Climate change is one of the gravest threats to society but Small Island Developing States (or SIDS), and islands more generally, are amongst the least responsible for its current state. However, rather than focusing on island vulnerability to climate change, or adaptation and resilience, this chapter focuses on islands and climate change mitigation, exploring both the rationale for policies aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and the possible content of island specific net zero policy pathways. The chapter focuses its attention on SIDS, but also on semi-autonomous island territories, often referred to as subnational island jurisdictions or SNIJs. Scotland and its islands are also used to provide more context to the analysis. The chapter concludes that net zero related good practices stemming from islands will not automatically apply to mainland settings, but that in some circumstances (especially transport and energy) the closed nature of islands lends them to be perceived as hubs of innovation capable of distilling learning from which also mainland counterparts can benefit.