MANILA/GENEVA – 23 February 2016: The Climate Vulnerable Forum reacted to the damaging impact of the Category 5 Cyclone Winston on member country Fiji, highlighting the urgency of efforts to address global climate change and bring the UN climate change convention’s (UNFCCC) new Paris Agreement into force.
Commenting on the most severe storm to affect the Pacific island nation of Fiji for the Climate Vulnerable Forum Chair, Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman of the Philippines Climate Change Commission said: “This is another painful reminder of why global action on climate change is so urgent and vital. At just one degree of warming experienced today, vulnerable countries continue to bear the brunt of record breaking storms, flooding and weather extremes. We’re expecting all countries to collaborate to safeguard our people by keeping warming to the minimum, which means living up to the 1.5 degrees limit enshrined in the Paris Agreement.”
Cyclone Winston stresses the importance not only to officially sign and ratify the UNFCCC Paris Agreement, which opens for signature at UN Headquarters on 22 April 2016, but also for the 195 nations that came together for the historic deal to move fast on its implementation.
“The vulnerable countries led the call for an ambitious agreement at the Paris climate summit by advocating for 1.5 degrees,” added Secretary de Guzman, “just days before Winston struck Fiji, the country also became the first nation to ratify the Paris Agreement. Clearly, vulnerable countries are also leading the charge to ensure the regime negotiated in Paris gains legal force as soon as possible. We look forward to continued momentum for similar action from countries large and small.”
Photo caption: Tropical Cyclone Winston (11P) in the South Pacific Ocean; Source: NASA; Licence: Public Domain