LIMA, 08 December 2014 – Leaders of Bangladesh, Costa Rica and Philippines speaking at the UN Climate Change Conference at Lima (COP20) today called for solidarity with countries already affected by climate change and a reconciling of polarized positions in the Lima talks to achieve greater progress.
The Minister of Environment of Costa Rica, Edgar Gutiérrez-Espeleta said: “Formal inputs of several parties and groups are still highly polarized and don’t reflect progress being made outside the talks. At the last COP Philippines was hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda, and our thoughts are now with those communities struggling with Hagupit.”
“We support any solidarity for the Philippines, but not sympathy” said the head of the Philippines delegation to COP20, Secretary of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering, “we sustain losses every year: from Typhoon Frank, to Parma, to Nesat, to Bopha, to Haiyan, to Hagupit. But our vulnerabilities can be reduced.”
Bangladesh’s Secretary for Environment and Forests, Md. Nojibur Rahman, commented: “These more frequent and increasingly severe weather events are a call to action. Bangladesh looks forward to stand by Philippines and by all the other countries already seriously affected by climate change to call for a change of pace in the negotiations.”
The remarks were made at a COP20 Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) event that also announced that Philippines would assume leadership of the CVF, a global cooperation platform for countries highly vulnerable to climate change, from current Chair, Costa Rica, in January 2015. Commenting on the development, Minister Gutiérrez of Costa Rica said: “We are going to need their leadership. But equally, I think this development can really add to our optimism. Philippines can count on our full support”.
Bangladesh’s Environment Secretary, Md. Nojibur Rahman, added: “Philippines can count on the utmost support of Bangladesh for its presidency during the truly critical period for climate change policy that is immediately ahead of us with the Paris deal in our sights.”