FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Small islands outline priorities ahead of final climate talks before Lima

At the opening of the latest round of international climate talks here, Ngedikes “Olai” Uludong, lead negotiator for 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:

“We begin these climate negotiations, our last session before the critical COP in Lima in just a few weeks, buoyed by the unprecedented display of public support by the 400,000 participants at Peoples Climate March last month in New York. And just on Friday, a group of Pacific islanders boarded traditional canoes and blockaded Newcastle, one of the world’s largest coal ports, to draw attention to the crisis.

“Our citizens are demanding action and it is up to us to deliver.

“As representatives of some of the communities most vulnerable to climate change, we are keenly aware that protecting our members requires bold action beginning immediately.

“Fortunately, scientists are confident that we can be successful, but only if we start now. We have seen very constructive and solutions-oriented discussions so far in areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency as well as cities and land use as part of the Workstream 2 discussions and we look forward to the sessions on CCS and short-lived climate pollutants this week. These solutions-focused technical meetings are designed to deliver near-term results and may be our best hope for fostering the international cooperation needed to scale up mitigation action around the world in the little time we have remaining to act.

“AOSIS has offered a number of proposals for ways we can do more to engage parties and put good ideas to work.

“For example, there should be high-level events at COPs, where countries are able to provide updates and discuss the cooperative steps they are taking multilaterally to increase mitigation effort. The ADP Ministerial at Lima should be the first of these events and it will allow countries to inform the UNFCCC of action partnerships established, such as the ones announced at the very successful SIDS Conference in Samoa.

“What’s more, with Lima just weeks away, it is essential for us to make significant progress this week in our discussions on Workstream 1 of the ADP, including on the nature of iNDCS. More broadly we see the need for more clarity and details in the following areas:

  • The 2015 agreement must be legally binding protocol, applicable to all.
  • Ambition should be in line with delivering a long term global goal of limiting temperature increases to below 1.5 and need to consider at this session ways to ensure this.
  • Mitigation efforts captured in the 2015 agreement must be clearly quantifiable so that we are able to aggregate the efforts of all Parties.
  • A further elaboration of the elements to be included in the 2015 agreement;
  • The identification of the information needed to allow parties to present their intended nationally determined contributions in a manner that facilitates clarity, transparency, and understanding relative to the global goal.
  • Finance is a fundamental building block of the 2015 agreement. This should complement other necessary means of implementation including transfer of technology 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.

“Time is short, but the opportunities to be successful are many. It’s up to us to seize them.”

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