Historic 1.5C Agreement Marks New Era of Climate Justice
Limiting the global rise in temperatures to 1.5°C a victory for vulnerable countries – the Paris Agreement answers the #1o5C campaign’s call
Global collaboration of vulnerable countries moved major powers to safeguard human rights worldwide
Regime provides pathway to reach 1.5°C world, address loss and damage and finance a resilient, low-emissions future
Climate Vulnerable Forum confirms its new membership of 43 nations, pledging to continue to lead and sustain the fight against climate change for the one billion people it represents
Le Bourget, Paris – 12 December 2015: The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) marked the adoption of the Paris Agreement at the 21st Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC (COP21) as a historic step forward for a climate-safe future and a major victory for the vulnerable countries in the negotiations.
H.E. Secretary Emmanuel M. de Guzman, Vice Chairperson and Commissioner, Climate Change Commission, head of the delegation of Philippines to COP21, speaking for the Chair of the CVF said: “Despite diversity and divergence, we have found common ground. And now as one family of nations – as sisters and brothers of one world – we can move forward with greater resolve and ambition, hopeful of winning the fight against climate change.”
He added: “We may be vulnerable but we are also capable when we work together. Paris is the victory of our intensified collaboration: this historic agreement tells the world that human rights will be upheld, that the big and powerful have stood up for the small, the poor and the vulnerable, and that the world is determined to rise to this great challenge.”
“In COP21 we made 1.5 define global ambition. Paris has given us 1.5 to survive and thrive. It’s now up to us all to bring that vision into reality. The CVF will continue to lead and sustain the fight against climate change and to secure a safe and resilient future for all,” De Guzman concluded.
In response to the COP21 agreements, the Forum’s Chair:
Welcomed the historic agreement of the world’s nations to limit future warming to a minimum by deciding to pursue efforts to achieve a 1.5°C limit to temperature increases and a long-term mitigation target consistent with 1.5°C.
Cautioned that the mitigation target in the Paris Agreement (article 4) would need to be achieved close to mid-century in order to comply with the 1.5°C limit, and so will require continued concerted efforts by all parties to take early and upscaled climate action.
Welcomed the establishment of a stock take review towards achievement of the Long-Term Goal in 2018, and 5-year review cycles where all countries need to do more than previous commitments, which represents a robust framework for progressively moving towards compliance with the 1.5°C regime.
Welcomed the inclusion of strong human rights language underpinning the regime in the COP21 agreement preambles and the first recognition of “Climate Justice” in an international agreement as a testament to the global community’s resolve to upholding fundamental human rights in delivering climate action.
Expressed appreciation for the commitment of developed countries to provide scaled-up finance and welcomes the decision to set a new post-2020 joint finance target for developed countries consistent with the needs of developing countries and the low-emission and climate-resilient development goals of the Agreement, including building from a floor of $100 billion per year. The Forum continues to urge achievement of a balance in flows between adaptation and mitigation, a provision in the new agreement, by 2020 at the latest.
Strongly welcomed the recognition of loss and damage as a core element of the Paris Agreement and the confirmation of the Warsaw International Mechanism under the new regime together with agreed steps towards its strengthening and enhancement for averting, minimizing and addressing climate change loss and damage.
The future CVF Chair, Ethiopia, commented on the conclusion to the Paris conference in remarks by Environment, Forestry and Climate Minister H.E Dr. Shiferaw Teklemariam: “The world has answered the call of the vulnerable. We have sent a message loud and clear that in this century our global community will stand up for those on the climate frontline. With this text we have a framework we can work with. And Ethiopia looks forward to taking the lead as the incoming Chair of this Forum. We will do our level best to ensure that the successes in Paris are followed by stronger steps. We would also like to congratulate the French presidency and our respective delegations for this landmark achievement.”
For Costa Rica, Ms. Giovanna Valverde, head of delegation for the CVF troika member, commented that: “Justice has been done in Paris. We have long argued and demonstrated that climate action benefits the economy as well as the environment, and that ambitious action is a tremendous opportunity to uphold human rights. This 1.5°C regime and framework for global collaboration on climate change agreed here in Paris therefore represents an enormous contribution to future world prosperity and peace.”
Bangladesh, CVF troika member, represented by its head of delegation and environment under secretary, Dr Nurul Quadir, commented: “A 1.5°C agreement is a major step forward towards delivering climate justice for our vulnerable nations. Science and sense and solidarity have prevailed in Paris. We will celebrate this great accomplishment today. Tomorrow, the huge task awaits to implement this new agreement and to keep it on track. Working together in our expanded forum, the vulnerable countries will continue to lead that charge.”
Chair of the Panel of Expert Advisors to the CVF, Dr Saleemul Huq, Director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development commented that: “The inclusion of the 1.5 Degrees Long Term Goal in the Paris Agreement is a major victory for the vulnerable countries who convinced the rich countries and also the large developing countries to make the correct choice.”
The CVF confirmed the following 43 nations as member states in the Forum, which represents one billion vulnerable people worldwide: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Comoros, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Fiji, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mongolia, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Senegal, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Vietnam, and Yemen. In doing so, 23 new member states were welcomed as participating countries in its dedicated cooperation forum for developing countries vulnerable to climate change.
The Forum had spearheaded a public campaign, #1o5C (www.1o5C.org), highlighting the clear majority of UNFCCC parties that supported a 1.5°C goal together with CARE International and the Climate Action Network, and hundreds of civil society organizations calling for the Paris Agreement to enshrine the sensible, evidence-based strengthening of the previous 2 degree temperature goal.
Photo caption: Plenary session of COP21 for the adoption of the Paris Agreement, Salle Seine, Le Bourget, Paris (12 December 2015); Source: COP21 (flickr); Licence: CC0 1.0 Universal