Geneva Takes a Step on the Road to Paris

Glacial melting in Swiss Alps

Geneva—At the conclusion of the United Nations climate change negotiations here, the first in a series of meetings this year designed to advance progress toward a comprehensive international agreement at the end of the year in Paris, Ambassador Ahmed Sareer, the Maldives’ Permanent Representative to the U.N. and Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), released the following statement on behalf of the group:

“We leave Geneva with a lengthy text to work on in the coming months, but it importantly reflects the views and enjoys support from all Parties. After years of false starts and broken promises, restoring ownership and trust in the process is no small achievement and I think we have come a long way toward doing that.

“Our job now is to take every opportunity at the remaining meetings, and the time in between, to understand each other’s concerns and interests as we look for common ground on the road to Paris

“As representatives of some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change, including total inundation from sea level rise, our primary motivation is to make sure the global community moves as quickly as possible to cut the emissions responsible for climate change, and provides the support necessary to help vulnerable communities build sustainable futures and adapt to climate impacts that can no longer be avoided.

“Our view is that a legally binding protocol under the convention that is applicable to all Parties, and in line with keeping global temperature increase to below 1.5 degrees Celsius, is the best way to achieve that objective. Additionally, it will need to give balanced treatment to key areas, including mitigation, finance, capacity building, technology, adaptation, and loss and damage to manage impacts that can no longer be adapted to. Loss and damage is qualitatively different than adaptation and should be treated separately under the agreement.

“We certainly have our work cut out when we convene again in June, but we have made important progress here, and AOSIS is committed to working with all parties, groups, and the ADP co-chairs to transform the negotiating text into an ambitious agreement in Paris.”