Small islands lay out priorities at start of Lima

Ahead of the opening of the international climate talks in Lima, Peru, Ambassador Marlene Moses, Chair of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), a group of 44 low-lying and coastal countries that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, released the following statement:

“The success or failure of the critical climate agreement to be signed next year in Paris rests heavily on what is accomplished in the next two weeks here in Lima. We begin these talks on the heels of announcements from the world’s largest emitters about their plans to cut emissions the coming decade as well as pledges to the Green Climate Fund. The news provides important political momentum, but as the people on the frontlines of this crisis, we know all too well that the world is still well short of the level of action needed to avert catastrophe.

“If we don’t bring emissions down immediately, well before 2020, the opportunity to avoid the worst impacts, including the total inundation of small islands may be irrevocably lost. Therefore we absolutely need a strong outcome on Workstream 2 of the ADP, which is intended to rapidly scale up the implementation of mitigation good practices in the near-term.

“What’s more, pledged contributions to the GCF must reach at least $15 billion, which we consider the minimum necessary for making it the credible and transformational institution envisioned back in Cancun.

“Of course, we must make certain we are on track to reach a satisfactory long-term agreement in Paris and more clarity is needed on the nature of iNDCS under Workstream 1 of the ADP. More broadly we urge parties to provide more details in the following areas:

·      The 2015 agreement must be legally binding protocol under the Convention applicable to all;

·   Ambition should be in line with a long term global goal of limiting temperature rise to well below 1.5 degrees;

·      Mitigation efforts captured in the 2015 agreement must be clearly quantifiable so that we are able to aggregate thethe efforts of all Parties;

·      Elements to be included in the 2015 agreement should be further elaborated;

·      We should identify the information parties will provide when presenting their intended nationally determined contributions in a manner that facilitates clarity, transparency and understanding of the contributions towards achieving the objective of the Convention as set out in Article 2;

·      Finance is a fundamental building block of the 2015 agreement, and therefore it MUST contain commitments by developed country Parties and provisions to ensure scaled-up, adequate long term, predictable, new and additional finance to support mitigation and adaptation to the adverse effects of climate change in developing countries. This should complement other necessary means of implementation including technology transfer and development and capacity building;

·      The new agreement should also address the gaps of the current climate finance architecture and flows, including the shortage of funding for concrete adaptation in most vulnerable countries and the barriers to access resources for those capacity-constrained countries. Both public and private flows towards low-emission and climate-resilient sustainable development have to be scaled-up urgently and different types of financing should be used and prioritized for different activities.

“Finally, Loss and damage due to the impacts of climate change is already a reality for AOSIS and it must also be part of the 2015 agreement. The mechanism we launched in Warsaw should form a separate area of negotiation and warrants specific discussion in a separate session. The Warsaw International Mechanism on loss and Damage established at COP 19 must be anchored under the new agreement.

“The extreme vulnerability of Small Island States to climate change demands urgent action, and international momentum is finally building to deliver, we call on the world to ensure the opportunity does not slip away.”

–Ends –