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‘We strive to lead’

Climate-vulnerable countries pledge robust action on Paris accord
‘We strive to lead’

At the United Nations Climate Conference in Marrakech (COP22), more than 45 of the countries most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change pledged to pursue ‘robust action’ to implement the landmark Paris Agreement.

‘We will survive and thrive’, the countries said through the Marrakech Communiqué, a joint declaration by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), the international partnership of countries that are disproportionately affected by the impacts of climate change. It aims to exert additional pressure for action to tackle the challenge.

’Fight the good fight’

CVF members include countries from several regions of the world, including the Maldives, Costa Rica, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Tuvalu, Madagascar and Nepal.

They adopted their declaration as part of the work of the 22nd Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which concluded on Friday (18 November).

‘We have all gathered here today to fight the good fight. Although our contribution [to climate change] is insignificant, the impact that [it] has brought on us is very high, and we are here together to make sure that we have a say in our future. We invite all CVF members to pursue robust domestic climate action.’

Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of Ethiopia

The countries expressed solidarity with fellow member Haiti, which was devastated by Hurricane Matthew. The humanitarian catastrophe was amplified by capability constraints that clearly overwhelmed any capacity to adapt in a ‘now all-too familiar repetition of disaster.’

Long-term strategies

In the declaration, the CVF emphasised that any country with a nationally determined contribution (NDC) not yet compliant with its fair share consistent with the Paris Agreement’s long-term goal ‘must update these contributions by 2020 at the latest.’

They pledged to green their economies as their contribution ‘towards achieving net carbon neutrality and 100% renewable energy’. They also expressed their commitment to develop and submit updated NDCs as early as possible before 2020, emphasising that ‘additional enabling support on means of implementation from donors, especially capacity building, is indispensable to any upscaled mitigation and adaptation action by our countries.’

‘This is the type of bold leadership by example the world needs right now on climate change. If countries that have done the least to cause climate change can take such strong steps, so can others. We need action by all, on behalf of all.’

UN secretary-general

‘We will plot a clear path to the future’, added members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, pledging to prepare long-term strategies before 2020 to attain maximal resilience.

Click here to read The Marrakech Communique from the Climate Vulnerable Forum.

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