20 April 2016 – New York: The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) urged world leaders to roll out priorities for global climate action during a ministerial gathering of the “High Ambition Coalition” in New York on the eve of the signing ceremony for the Paris Agreement at the United Nations Headquarters.
Secretary Emmanuel M. De Guzman, of the Climate Change Commission of the Philippines, reminded Parties about the concensus in Paris last December 2015 to work together to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius or less in order to effectively tackle climate change.
“The 1.5 degrees Celsius is a temperature limit that represents the very foundation of the Paris Agreement. Ambition must translate to concrete steps to ensure that the 1.5 degrees Celsius objective will be achieved. Decisive moves by Parties are significant, if nations are sincere in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030,” De Guzman noted.
“This means that all countries must re-submit new and far more ambitious contributions under the Paris Agreement by 2020, at the latest. This likewise means swifter progress on the $100 billion fund to help developing nations cope with climate change and deliver on their carbon emission reduction commitments,” he added.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica Manuel Gonzalez echoed the points raised by the Philippines.
“The new 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and SDGs cannot be achieved if we fail at the 1.5 degrees temperature goal,” Gonzalez said. “Ambition in climate policy clearly enables ambition in sustainable development goals and enhances enjoyment of fundamental human rights globally.”
“Furthermore, ambition is not only confined to emissions controls, because we also need ambition to achieve early a clear balance in international climate finance, strengthening funds available to support poor and vulnerable groups to adapt to climate change,” he also said.
The High Ambition Coalition emerged at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (UNFCCC COP21) as an alliance of developing and developed countries that pushed for strong outcomes at COP21, including inclusion of the ambitious 1.5 degrees Celsius limit in the Paris Agreement.
On 22 April, more than 150 countries, including members of the CVF, currently chaired by the Philippines, will sign the Paris Agreement.