COP22: Least developed, island nations call for greater action

Marrakech, Nov 17 (IANS) The island nations, least developed and developing countries on Thursday voiced their concerns and worse fears on climate change, and reminded the developed countries of their financial commitments to combat it.

Speaking on the second day of the high-level segment of the 22nd Conference of the Parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP22), the island countries said they “can’t afford any increase in temperature anymore”.

Roosevelt Skerrit, the Prime Minister of the Commonwealth of Dominica, said: “Our concerns for the planet has to be above all considerations. We have to combat climate change. COP22 should be used for immediate actions on the Paris Agreement. We cannot afford to lose the momentum.”

Island countries said their climate change action is “unshakeable” and that they are not very happy with the progress at COP22, especially in terms of the loss and damage.

“Humanity is at a critical juncture, we need immediate actions to fight climate change. We need it for ourselves and the future generations…our actions must be urgent,” Skerrit added.

Disappointed over the lack of finance and low level of commitments, representatives form South Sudan said the $100 billion commitment of the developed countries for the developing countries is not enough.

“Just $100 billion for climate action is not enough. This needs to be be increased to trillions,” Joseph Barto from the South Sudan Ministry of Environment said.

He also sought that long-term finance and mitigation projects should be supported by the developed countries as well. “Let us rise to the challenge of climate change. There is no other planet human race will move to,” he added.

India, which spoke on Wednesday, also reminded the developed countries of their commitments and urged them to provide effective finance, technology transfer and capacity building support to developing countries.

One of the few countries with zero-carbon footprint, Bhutan said that climate change has started affecting its people.

“We are vulnerable to climate change. It is hitting hard on our people. Looking forward that the poorest countries avail all necessary support for adaptation,” said a Bhutan government representative.

Mustapha Zaher, Director General of National Environment Protection Agency of Afghanistan, reiterated his country’s commitment to curb emission to lay the foundation for a sustainable future.

He said there are challenges in terms of security and socio-economic condition of the people, but the country is ready to fight global climate change.

Afghanistan has established its national committee for the implementation of Paris Agreement and its national goals under the Kyoto protocol, Zaher said.

“We renew our commitment to take part an active part in the negotiations,” he said.

Meanwhile, Civil Society, which spoke on behalf of the most vulnerable and least developed countries at a press conference here, said that the “indecisiveness” of the developed countries in Marrakech Climate Change talks will lead to more “climate genocide” back home.

“Albeit the Paris Agreement has failed to show a path to limit temperature well below 2 degrees Celsius and 1.5 degrees Celsius and failed to bind countries under strict legal provisions in implementing the agreement, we hope that major emitters would start discussions on its implementation and enhance their support for the mitigation,” said Azeb Grimi from the Least Developed Countries Watch.

(Kushagra Dixit is in Marrakech at the invitation of TERI to cover COP22. He can be contacted at kushagra.d@ians.in)

–IANS

kd/nir/vt

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