A major move was made on Friday to introduce that magical number -- 350 PPM -- into the official negotiations at Copenhagen. Until now, there has been a major disconnect between the NGO's, the developing world, and climate scientists who want to establish the ambitious target of 350 and the Annex I developed nations who are using 450 PPM as a global target for CO2 concentrations.
350 is not and has never really been considered as a viable target, but the move by AOSIS now puts it officially on the table.
Introduced by AOSIS, the Association of Island Nations, the draft text comes in response to the breakdown on Wednesday as the leaked "Danish Text" (which appeared to many to be a pre-negotiated treaty favoring the developed world) caused a maelstrom of protests and walkouts.
At the center of storm is the tiny island nation of Tuvalu which has been a focal point in the 350 vs. 450 debate. It is the first country to be directly impacted by rising sea levels due to global warming. A 450 PPM target (and a 2 degree temperature rise) would mean the island nation would be completely underwater.
On Wednesday, a spokesperson for Tuvaluvian (?) negotiators made a very dramatic move calling for a complete halt to the COP15. Danish Climate Minister Connie Hedegaard made the diplomatically correct decision to suspend only the one negotiating point, allowing the conference to move forward.
Though it's still far from reality, AOSIS is giving fuel to the NGO world which will be marching this weekend is support of 350 PPM.