Press Release: AOSIS and LDCs Urge Focus on Implementing Short-Term Emissions Reductions
3 June 2013, Bonn, Germany—At the opening of the June session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) and the Least Developed Countries (LDCs) groups, which together represent 83 countries and over 920 million people that are highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, called on delegations from both developed and developing countries to move expeditiously from talking about solutions to implementing them. The groups jointly released the following statement:
“Only a few weeks after we concluded our work in early May, scientists at the Mauna Loa laboratory confirmed that the average daily atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide hit 400 parts per million.
“The long-feared milestone, a level not seen on earth for over 3 million years, underscores the need to focus our work and make concrete progress at this session and follow up the work at COP 19 in Warsaw, as we move toward adopting a Protocol under the Convention applicable to all Parties in 2015.
“Research clearly shows that unless we act immediately, the opportunity to keep global warming below the crucial 1.5 degree Celsius threshold could be irrevocably lost.
“We saw momentum build at the May session around a proposal for a process that facilitates more technical and results-oriented discussions under Workstream 2 of the ADP, initially focusing on the abundant opportunities to rapidly lower emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy technology. Developed countries must take the lead by examining their untapped domestic mitigation potential and designing strategies to enact new policies.
“We hope to see this process leading toward more closely identifying concrete plans to mobilise the finance, technology, and capacity building needed to unlock mitigation reductions in line with scientific recommendations. The longer it takes us to mitigate, the more costly it will become for us to undertake adaptation actions.
“Unfortunately, more frequent, extreme and intense climate impacts, such as droughts, floods, cyclones, storm surges, and sea level rise, have already taken a toll on our people, so adaptation and Loss and Damage must be integral to the discussions at this session so an international Loss and Damage mechanism can be established in Warsaw.
“The science is clear: current ambition levels are woefully insufficient to prevent even more extensive damage from occurring, including the loss of entire countries to sea level rise.
“We urge parties to respond immediately by ratifying their new Kyoto Protocol obligations, and work together to build the political will needed to put forward more ambitious targets using the 2014 ratchet mechanism, and for all other Annex 1 parties to make comparable commitments to be announced at the UN Secretary General’s Leader’s Summit in 2014.”