Small island states were able to obtain some remarkable achievements in the climate change negotiations by building a cohesive coalition, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). The cohesion of the Alliance, however, has been affected by changes in the UNFCCC process. The multiplication of issues on the climate agenda and the increasing number of negotiation groups may help or hinder compromise and finding common ground.
To track how AOSIS has fared in the climate change regime, this paper compares the activities and positions of AOSIS as a group, and of individual AOSIS members over three distinct periods in the climate change regime: its early phase from 1995 to 2000; an implementation phase from 2001 to 2005; and the more recent period from 2006 to 2011. Over time, group activity has declined in relative terms, with some issues such as forestry receiving particular attention from individual AOSIS members. Despite controversies in some areas, AOSIS has remained a tightly coordinated and cohesive alliance that continues to be a key player in global climate policy.