The Climate Vulnerable Forum concludes today in Bonn a series of regional consultations involving 50 countries across 5 regions with a global meeting of negotiators in conjunction with the UN climate convention talks. The consultations have delivered a unique updated understanding of policy priorities shared by vulnerable developing countries irrespective of region, geography, negotiating group, population or other qualities.
The consultations demonstrate clear scope for scaling-up the level of national climate action by developing countries provided essential ingredients enabling more effective mitigation and adaptation efforts. These include improved access to finance, enhanced institutional and human capacities for climate change governance at all levels, and greater collaboration between developing countries.
Other priorities highlighted by countries included greater technology transfer and development, enhanced enabling conditions for business to participate in climate action, and increased awareness and research capacities. Equipped with these tools, developing countries could contribute considerably more to local and global climate action to safeguard vulnerable communities.
“We are calling out to do more to tackle climate change. Many of us are already investing considerable domestic resources and achieving results worth sharing with each other as we all strive to do more with each other’s help. But the potential for greater action is tremendous and we can unlock that potential with a strong outcome at COP21.” noted H.E. Secretary Lucille Sering of Philippines, which Chairs the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
“If middle-income, LDCs and small island states, including some of the poorest and most vulnerable countries are able to take action, then any and every economy can take action. We hope to lead and inspire greater efforts,” said Ms. Giovanna Valverde, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Costa Rica and head of delegation.
The consultations conclude just as a submission by the Forum under the UNFCCC 2013-2015 Review of the 2 degrees Celsius temperature goal is up for formal consideration in the Bonn negotiations. The submission included the first-ever report by the newly-created UN Mandate of the Special Rapporteur for Human Rights and the Environment, which found that even incremental increases in impacts linked to global temperature rises, such as moving from 1 to 2 degrees, do adversely affect the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the Right to Life. On the basis of a decision at COP20 in Lima, the current Bonn talks are required to consider the report as a part of the advice it will convey to COP21 on the adequacy of the temperature goal.
“CVF efforts could bring into focus of the UNFCCC and Paris negotiations that 2 degree goal would not be sufficient to address climate change that continues to infringe on fundamental human rights. Much more needs to be done. Despite numerous challenges Bangladesh set up a national Climate Change Trust Fund from its own resources to protect its vulnerable people. However, most of the vulnerable countries need robust international support to tackle climate change impacts. Through CVF, we need to take forward a 1.5 degree goal and easy access to international climate finance,” said Dr. Nurul Quadir, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests of Bangladesh and head of delegation.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum submission also cited the inadequacy of the 2 degrees goal in terms of the ultimate objective of the UN climate convention to prevent dangerous human interference with the climate system, and recommended strengthening the internationally agreed temperature goal to the maximum feasible amount, or 1.5 degrees (or below).