In 1990, the Alliance of Small Island States, a coalition of 42 small island and low-lying coastal areas, was formed to consolidate the voices of those nations most at risk from global warming. The body works primarily through the U.N. and has been extremely active, frequently calling for rich nations to cut their emissions. However, while developing countries have put a high priority on cutting emissions and the continuation of the Kyoto Protocol, industrialized nations like Japan, Russia and Canada have said they won’t support an extended protocol. The Kyoto Protocol expires at the end of 2012, and many nations have expressed interest in scrapping it and developing a new agreement.
But the search for a solution to rising sea levels isn’t confined to climate policy debates. Others are taking a more hands-on approach, creating models and designs for much more than just a floating island. Architects like Vincent Callebaut have suggested that we develop entire floating cities, such as his Lilypad (pictured at left), to accommodate climate change refugees. Check out more innovative designs that would let us live on water.