Small Islands Highlight Urgency and Benefits of Climate Action in Bonn

For Immediate Release:

5 May 2017

At the opening of the latest round of United Nations climate change negotiations in Bonn, Germany, the first talks since COP 22 in Morocco, Thoriq Ibrahim, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States, a coalition of island and coastal nations that are highly vulnerable to climate change impacts, released the following statement on behalf of the group:

“As 196 nations gather in Bonn to continue the implementation of the Paris Agreement, we are reminded that the international accord is the last hope for the survival of our members.

“In fact, since we last met in Morocco, the stakes for our group were tragically underscored by the loss of five islands in the Solomon Islands archipelago due to sea level rise.

“At the same time, an onslaught of deadly storms, floods, droughts, and famines around the world serves as a reminder that no country is immune from climate change.

“But since the Marrakesh summit in November 2016 another 44 countries, including five G20 countries and one Permanent Member of the UN Security Council, have joined the Paris agreement, bringing the total to 144 (representing 83% of global emissions and 98% of global GDP). In total, some 170 countries have submitted nationally determined plans to help contribute to the Agreement’s goals.

“Such widespread support not only reflects the concern the international community has for climate impacts, but also the compelling economic case for action. Last year, for instance, the world added record renewable energy capacity at a lower cost than ever before.

“The Paris Agreement was designed to be as flexible as possible and give all countries, large and small, the ability to seize the many economic benefits of renewable energy and work together to tackle one of our generation’s biggest challenges.”