Geneva—Ahead of the opening of the international climate talks here, Ambassador Ahmed Sareer, Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the Maldives, and 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 on behalf of the group:
“Geneva will serve as an important mile marker for us to ensure we are on track to deliver an ambitious agreement in Paris at the end of the year. We have lot of ground to cover, but I am optimistic that the international community is prepared to do the work necessary here, and throughout the course of the year to ensure we get the job done.
“More specifically, we need to make progress in developing the fundamental building blocks of an ambitious legally binding protocol under the Convention, including:
“Mitigation: Our ambition should be in line with a long term global goal of limiting temperature rise to well below 1.5 degrees and the efforts captured in the 2015 agreement must be clearly quantifiable so that we are able to aggregate the contributions of all Parties.
“Finance: Means of implementation is essential to 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 public financing should be made available for adaptation.
“Loss and Damage: Permanent losses and damages due to the impacts of climate change are a reality for AOSIS and thus a central part of building a successful 2015 agreement. The negotiation 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.
“Reports from scientists that last year was the hottest on record and that sea level rise is accelerating around the world, remind us of the need to take urgent action. At the same time, we have watched international momentum build toward reaching an agreement in Paris. AOSIS looks forward to working with all of our partners to ensure this opportunity does not slip away.”