Statement of the CVF Chair, the Philippines
Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman of the Philippines
UNFCCC COP21 Ministerial Dialogue on the Long-Term Goal
Tuesday 08 December 2015
Room 21, Hall 6, Le Bourget, Paris
I am pleased to speak for the Philippines. As you know, we are the Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum.
For vulnerable countries, there is a single thing that will measure the ambition of the Paris agreement and it is a number: 1.5.
We regret the blocking of the passage of the 2013-2015 Review to the COP.
We are the face of vulnerability. We’ve been absorbing the punches and we will continue to receive these punches as the planet continues to warm.
We all know the vulnerable countries suffer the life-claiming brunt of climate disasters already today.
We have now breached 1 degree of global warming, and we only have 0.5 degree left to control it, so we need to act with greater resolve and urgency. Paris is our chance, our hope. And we know it can be done as the science informs us.
1.5C of warming will already be close to catastrophic for our countries, but we know it’s the best we can achieve if we all act decisively.
A 2 degrees threshold has no validity anymore as a guardrail. We know that warming is already dangerous and we have to keep it to a minimum. The feasible minimum is 1.5C.
Limiting global warming to below 1.5C would avoid or reduce risks, for example, to food production or to unique and threatened systems such as coral reefs, and to risks of sea-level rise.
For these reasons we are taking the initiative to submit today a major report by the Special Procedures of the United Nations which confirms that climate change already has a wide-ranging negative impact on fundamental human rights and that a 2-degrees goal would result in a major adverse impact on human rights globally, including on the right to life, to health and to food, some of the most basic human rights.
Almost every one of the dozens of human rights special rapporteurs at the United Nations has called on the UNFCCC, together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights itself, urges the Paris meeting to limit warming to below 1.5C.
We have an opportunity here to make an historic contribution to upholding human rights and affirm our faith in an international system that functions.
We are submitting the Special Procedures report for the COP’s attention together with the final report of the Structured Expert Dialogues of the 2013-2015 Review that the Review itself failed to forward for consideration by the COP.
All delegations are capable of reading and digesting the 10 key messages of the report, the most important of which we think are that 1) warming is already causing serious impact, 2) that 2 degrees will result in much greater harm and 3) that 1.5C is feasible.
We are deciding on the fate of the planet here. The parties need to know that on the basis of their decision rests that fate of billions of people alive and unborn.
We cannot in good conscience be party to a decision that constrains our survival and implies mass violations of human rights when there was an option to do otherwise.
It would be difficult for us accept an agreement that does not contain or make a reference to 1.5C.
By necessity, that means we also require an agreement that makes 1.5C possible with a mitigation goal that ensures full decarbonization by 2050, and an ambition mechanism that ensures immediate ramping up of the INDCs.
Thank you very much.