13/12/18

Pacific Small Island Developing States Appeal for Universal Support for IPCC Special Report 

“COP24 IS A PIVOTAL MOMENT IN HUMAN HISTORY”

Fifteen of the most climate vulnerable nations that make up the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) have called on all nations to formally accept the findings of the recent IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees Celsius. In a statement released at COP24 in the Polish city of Katowice, representatives of the PSIDS expressed “alarm” that the current global efforts to combat climate change are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above the pre-industrial level.  And they spoke of their “deep concern” at the findings of the IPCC Report, which conclude that the effects of human-induced climate change are worse than previously projected.

“We firmly believe that the COP24 in Katowice, Poland is a pivotal moment in human history. The world must take heed of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (SR 1.5o C) and take dramatic and urgent steps to decarbonize the global economy and assist those at the frontline of climate change impacts. Our future is at stake”, the statement said.

The statement said the risks to PSIDS from loss and damage are extensive and include extreme weather events, rising sea levels and threats to the survival of island communities, particularly those living on coral atolls. It also referred to negative impacts on marine ecosystems and said sea level rises also undermined the permanence of maritime baselines and boundaries.

“Limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius is a matter of survival for PSIDS. We therefore urge the world to pursue all opportunities to maximise climate action including forest management, renewable energy and others highlighted by the Special Report 1.5oC”.

The PSIDS statement also:

  • Urgently called on the world to take dramatic steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and especially for each nation to significantly raise the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
  • Called on all OECD countries to quickly phase out their use of coal by 2030 and for all other countries to phase out their use of coal by 2040. “There must be no expansion of existing coal mines or the creation of new mines”, the statement said.
  • Expressed “deep concern” about the adverse impacts of climate change on the Ocean and called for a focused work program under the Paris Agreement to assist in protecting and conserving the ocean.
  • Expressed “deep alarm” at the growing number of people displaced by the impacts of climate change and called for the development of an international legal regime to protect displaced people.
  • Affirmed that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement are the key international legal instruments to address climate change. “We look forward to the completion of ambitious implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement at COP24.”
  • Described as “an absolute necessity” the need to include Loss and Damage (Article 8 of the Paris Agreement) in the COP Implementation Guidelines relating to Transparency, Finance, Technology development and transfer, Capacity building and the Global Stocktake.
  • Called on all Parties to support the COP Presidencies of Fiji and Poland and ensure a successful Talanoa Dialogue.

“In terms of supporting the pre-2020 ambition, we underscore that it is critically important that the Talanoa Dialogue delivers a decision that mandates the increase in the ambition of all NDCs to deliver a pathway that would limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We call on all Parties to support the COP Presidencies of Fiji and Poland to ensure that the outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue delivers its purpose in guiding the preparation of revised and ambitious NDCs”, the statement said.

 

PSIDS STATEMENT IN FULL

We, the Heads of Government, Ministers and Heads of Delegation from the Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) welcome the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report[1] on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (SR 1.5o C).  We call for the meaningful inclusion of the SR 1.5°C in the COP24 decision texts.

  1. We express deep concern at the findings of the SR 1.5o C which conclude that the effects of human-induced climate change are worse than previously projected and that the risks to PSIDS from loss and damage are extensive. These include, amongst others marine ecosystems impacts, sea level rise and extreme weather events, livelihoods and the threatened survival of island communities, particularly those living on coral atolls.  Sea level rise also undermines the permanence of our maritime baselines and maritime boundaries
  2. We also welcome the “Samoa Declaration on Climate Change in the context of Sustainable Development for SIDS” adopted during the Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for mid-term review of the S.A.M.A. Pathway in Apia on 1 November 2018.
  3. We welcome the “Boe Declaration” endorsed by Leaders in Nauru that firmly reasserts that climate change represents the single greatest threat to our livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the peoples of the Pacific and also reaffirms commitment to progress the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
  4. We are alarmed that current global efforts to combat climate change are insufficient to limit global warming to 1.5o C above pre-industrial levels.  We therefore urge the world to pursue all opportunities to maximise climate action including forest management, renewable energy and others highlighted by the SR 1.5oC. Limiting warming to 1.5oC is a matter of survival for PSIDS.
  5. We reiterate, that limiting warming to 1.5°C remains feasible. We urge all Parties to act now.
  6. We are deeply alarmed at the growing number of people displaced by the impacts of climate change. While we acknowledge that the Global Compact for Migration recognizes climate change as a driver of displacement and migration, we call for the development of an international legal regime and support framework based on human rights to protect people displaced by climate change.
  7. We urgently call on the world to take dramatic steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, in particular calling on countries to significantly raise the ambition of their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). In this regard, we call on international partners and financial institutions, to support efforts towards a low carbon development pathway.
  8. We call on all OECD countries to quickly phase out their use of coal by 2030 and for all other countries to phase out their use of coal by 2040. There must be no expansion of existing coal mines or the creation of new mines.
  9. We affirm that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement are the key international legal instruments to address climate change. We look forward to the completion of ambitious implementation guidelines for the Paris Agreement at COP24. In this regard the inclusion of Loss and Damage (Article 8 of the Paris Agreement) in the Implementation Guidelines on matters relating to Transparency, Finance, Technology development and transfer, Capacity building and the Global Stocktake is an absolute necessity.
  10. In terms of supporting the pre-2020 ambition, we underscore that it is critically important that the Talanoa Dialogue delivers a decision that mandates the increase in the ambition of all NDCs to deliver a pathway that would limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. We call on all Parties to support the COP Presidencies of Fiji and Poland to ensure that the outcome of the Talanoa Dialogue delivers its purpose in guiding the preparation of revised and ambitious NDCs.
  11. We note with concern the growing frequency and severity of climate related hazards experienced in the PSIDS region and the escalating cost of rehabilitation and recovery that PSIDS are having to bear. We call on all Parties, in particular developed country Parties and non-Party stakeholders to provide scaled-up finance, including risk finance mechanisms and public finance, to support national efforts to address these worsening impacts and loss and damage. We further, call for enhanced, efficient, simplified and timely access to these resources.
  12. We are deeply concerned about the adverse impacts of climate change on the Ocean. We call for a focused work program under the Paris Agreement to develop enhanced strategies, in collaboration with UN agencies, regional organizations and civil society amongst others, to assist our efforts to protect and conserve the Ocean. We call on development partners to support initiatives that can develop climate change adaptation measures and capacity building associated with protecting and restoring the coastal and marine environment.
  13. We welcome the entry into force on 1 January 2019 the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. The Kigali Amendment currently offers the greatest short term opportunity to avoid up to 1°C of global warming which is a lifeline of time for the world. We urge all Parties to the Montreal Protocol to ratify and implement the Kigali Amendment with urgency.
  14. We underscore the growing threat to peace and security brought about by the impacts of climate change. We strongly encourage the UN Secretary General to appoint a Special Representative of the Secretary General on Climate and Security.
  15. We firmly believe that the COP24 in Katowice, Poland is a pivotal moment in human history. The world must take heed of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels (SR 1.5o C) and take dramatic and urgent steps to decarbonize the global economy and assist those at the frontline of climate change impacts. Our future is at stake and we only have twelve years.

-ENDS-

Link to the IPCC Special Report on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels and related global greenhouse gas emission pathways: https://www.ipcc.ch/sr15/