Activities, Declarations, Program

Leaders Communique: 2018 CVF Virtual Summit

Leaders Communique: 2018 CVF Virtual Summit

22 November 2018

Summit Communique

We, Heads of State and Government, representatives of a significant number of those nations most vulnerable to the dangers of global climate change, member states of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF),

Building on nearly a decade of collaboration among nations most vulnerable to climate change, under the leadership of our Forum’s successive presidencies: Maldives, Kiribati, Bangladesh, Costa Rica, Philippines, Ethiopia and the Marshall Islands,

Proudly recalling the founding declaration of the CVF adopted at Male’ on 10 November 2009, and subsequent resolutions of the Forum’s High Level body in particular its most recent decision adopted at Marrakech in November 2016 together with the Forum’s Vision, and the 2015–2018 decisions of the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group of Ministers of Finance of the member states of the CVF,

Convening for an inaugural Summit as our input to this year’s critical United Nations Climate Change Conference at Katowice (COP24) and in particular the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) Talanoa Dialogue that concludes there,

Recognizing the CVF Summit Champions’ efforts highlighting the special leadership and engagement of women in tackling climate change, while emphasizing the importance of mainstreaming gender considerations throughout climate action per the UNFCCC’s Gender Action Plan,

Resolute in our commitment and support for urgently accelerating and strengthening the full and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and its enabling decisions,

Intent on further protecting and promoting human rights, and ensuring survival, prosperity, our way of life, culture, biodiversity, and the suppression of threats, in too many cases, to the very existence of communities, should global temperatures increase beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius (1.5 °C) above preindustrial levels, as evidenced by the findings of the 2018 Special Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on 1.5 °C,

Reaffirmed, moreover, by the important conclusion of the IPCC Special Report that staying within the 1.5°C limit of the Paris Agreement remains entirely achievable provided urgently enhanced action by all countries,

Stressing in that context the importance of the Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 to effectively inform the preparation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) towards achieving the purpose of the Paris Agreement, on the basis of equity, and in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, in a progression of efforts while recognizing the need to support developing countries,

Convening on this day the first ever virtual intergovernmental leaders’ level summit held in an entirely online format and so demonstrating our determination to reducing emissions through the creative application of readily available means, and to increase transparency and inclusivity while conserving scarce resources,

Celebrating the global expression of solidarity for the plight of those most affected by increasingly prevalent and devastating impacts of climate change and yet least responsible for its causes and least able to address these or its consequences, as expressed through the participation as observers in today’s Summit by the Heads of State and Government of [State delegation names] the President of the United nations General Assembly, the United Nations Secretary-General, and by representatives thereof from [State delegation names], the leaders of international and non-governmental institutions from all regions of the world, as well as the participation of civil society and other stakeholders by means of the Internet,

Motivated by the great responsibility we bear as leaders to protect our people and nations, and desirous of the world to know our determination never to give up nor to lose hope or surrender to an irreparably harmful fate; but instead to know our conviction to survive and thrive, overcoming those perils faced,

Steadfast together, therefore, in seeking to act as a driving force for a new era of global solidarity to unite strengths and cultivate collective worldwide action necessary to hasten the removal of the threats of climate change for nations large and small,

Acting now in the interests of all peoples and to save future generations, to strengthen universal peace by working to secure climate justice, and in doing so promote the upholding of fundamental human rights, the preservation of the Earth, social progress, and better standards of life in larger freedom,

Have, in accordance with the CVF Operational Modalities, advanced the following:

1. Talanoa Dialogue:

Further to the Pacific spirit of build trusting and to advance knowledge through empathy and understanding towards decision making for a greater good, we hereby form the following leadership contribution towards the Talanoa Dialogue:

We do declare this our “Jumemmej”* leadership call to action:

CVF Virtual Summit Leaders Communique – advance copy

First Issued by the Leaders of the Climate Vulnerable Forum

● We urge COP24 to act on the findings of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, as informed by the Talanoa Dialogue, sending a strong signal for all nations, and non-state actors, to contribute to the generation of new ambition, for the enhancement of all nationally determined contributions to the global response to climate change (NDCs) by 2020, emphasizing the critical role of the 2019 United Nations Climate Summit in ensuring a concerted worldwide effort to raise ambition by 2020;

● Commit to update and raise the level of ambition of our own nationally determined contributions to the global response to climate change (NDCs) by 2020 at the latest, in the context of the provision of robust and predictable international finance and other means of implementation, seeking to trigger increased national contributions from all nations by 2020 to keep the 1.5°C warming limit within reach and to safeguard those most vulnerable, fundamental human rights, people everywhere, fragile ecosystems and the planet’s natural wealth, the global commons;

● Call for urgent further action to enable far greater flows of international climate finance to be delivered far more rapidly and effectively, facilitating and enabling enhanced climate ambition among capacity-constrained developing countries, particularly LDCs and SIDS;

● We invite every nation, as well as non-state stakeholders, to join this call and to work cooperatively towards its realization, demonstrating the potential of the Paris Agreement whose aims are still within the collective power of the world’s nations to fulfill.

We, furthermore, highlight additional detailed inputs to the Talanoa Dialogue (at Annex 1).

2. Our Vision:

Towards effective delivery and cooperation established among nations most vulnerable to climate change through realization of the CVF’s Vision, whose clarity stems from the vantage point of threats we struggle with first and foremost, and through our determination to rise to face these

We support the CVF’s 5-point Vision, and its detailed provisions, whereby, in partnership and with the support of the international community, we aim to survive and thrive in a world where, as soon as possible, and at the latest, by 2030 to 2050:

    1. The dangers of climate change are kept to an absolute minimum.

    2. Maximum advantage is taken of the benefits of climate action.

    3. For protection from growing dangers even with only 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming that will disadvantage the most vulnerable, maximal resilience is achieved for people, indigenous groups, livelihoods, infrastructure, cultures and ecosystems.

    4. In embarking on a new era of the pursuit of development, ending poverty, leaving no person behind, and protecting the environment, not only are all Sustainable Development Goals and the targets and priorities of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction achieved by 2030 but also, where possible, their targets are exceeded or their early achievement is accomplished.

    5. As least developed and low- and middle-income developing countries, we emerge as wealthy nations achieved through strongest possible economic growth.

We also encourage the monitoring and reporting on the progress of our individual member, and collective, efforts to realize this Vision, including through the future attention of the CVF Summit.

3. V20

Towards a strengthened economic and financial response to climate change and the mobilization of enhanced public and private finance for climate action, recognizing the important contribution and ongoing work of the Vulnerable Twenty Group of our Ministers of Finance, founded under the Forum presidency of Philippines in October 2015 following the call of the 2013 CVF Costa Rica Action Plan

We warn of the scale of economic and financial risks that climate change represents for V20 economies and the world economy: slow-onset events require a long-term planned development response; extreme events present acute volatility risks; asymmetric risks penalize vulnerable economies adding a premium to the local cost of capital; and, the effects of heat on the productivity of the labour force operating outside climate controlled conditions is a single economic vulnerability substantial enough to alter the arc of development for worst affected regions, in addition to other impacts facing workers and the economy through increasingly severe weather and other shocks.

We recognize the opportunity of taking urgent and ambitions action to address climate change for economic growth and resilience, jobs, and the SDGs; an unprecedented mobilization of financial resources is required to deliver climate-resilient growth consistent with the Paris Agreement, which also amounts to a large-scale new investment leveraging opportunity bringing fresh economic momentum and activating the potential of sectors that introduce new forms of stability to the World Economy.

We highlight that to seize the opportunity and move with requisite urgency to keep vulnerable economies safe, and deliver on the Paris Agreement, experience exchanges, particularly South-South and Triangular, as well as capacity and finance, are critical for vulnerable developing countries to fulfill their full potential. The climate fight goes far beyond an energy transition: a bulk of critical infrastructure requires upgrading and retooling; local, regional and global supply chains need reprogramming; and, urban services and logistics are to be rethought towards the pump priming of member economies. Leveraging the economic capability advantage of wealthy economies through the supply of requisite means of implementation for vulnerable economies’ own climate action goals unlocks transnational growth and climate resilient development potential latent to vulnerable developing economies in the context of shared responsibility.

While highlighting the national efforts of V20 members in climate finance, and V20 collective efforts, we specifically support:

● The V20 Action Plan to mobilize additional public and private resources for climate action by 2020.

● The development of innovative financing instruments for addressing disaster risk and for promoting insurance, resilience and renewable energy.

● The forging of cooperation and collaboration with the Group of Twenty (G20) towards promoting swift and effective implementation of the Paris Agreement and Sustainable Development Goals.

● Contributing to implementing the recommendations of the Financial Stability Board (FSB) Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures.

● Enhancing accountability, effectiveness and transparency in the context of a collective responsibility to make best use of scarce resources, and to better understand climate-related costs and investment yields, through the tracking of climate change public expenditures and co-benefits focused on the entire climate finance cycle from donors to recipients.

● Working towards implementing domestic carbon pricing mechanisms by 2025 with flexibility and consideration to each country’s respective capabilities, and accelerating inefficient fossil fuel subsidy reform.

● The call for international support, mobilizing as many partners to assist with member aims, and in particular for the V20 Accelerated Financing Mechanism for Maximal Resilience and 100% Renewable Energy and the V20 Sustainable Insurance Facility.

4. Climate Vulnerability Awareness and Support:

Towards significantly increased awareness of the threats of climate change, and the urgent mobilization of additional support to keep the most vulnerable safe

We call for efforts to raise awareness, educate and promote action to address climate change vulnerability and to sustain support for addressing climate change vulnerabilities and accelerating adaptation, promoting resilience and enhancing assistance to the most vulnerable.

Considering the importance of enhanced awareness and in order to motivate states, the United Nations system, international and regional institutions, and civil society to recognize, promote understanding of, and address, growing vulnerability to climate change, perhaps the greatest emerging threat to global peace and prosperity, we call for consideration by the United Nations General Assembly of the designation of an international day for climate vulnerability, commencing on 10 November 2019, the 10th anniversary of the first Declaration of the CVF.

We also further call for enhanced international cooperation and attention by relevant bodies of the United Nations and international organizations, to mobilize against the global threat of climate change which disproportionately harms and endangers the poor and vulnerable.

5. Forum’s Development:

Towards the further strengthening of the Forum as a body of international cooperation, advocacy and action to address the interests and needs of nations most vulnerable to climate change


As an open and inclusive cooperation body for nations most vulnerable to climate change, we welcome the reaffirmation of membership of the CVF member countries as well as the interest expressed in the CVF from other developing countries whereby new members are encouraged to be accommodated at the next and subsequent meetings of the Forum’s High Level body.

CVF and V20 organization and institutionalization

We support and call for the further strengthening of the CVF’s independence, institutional arrangements, sustainable financing and cooperation basis, building on the CVF Operational Modalities, and to the further development of partnerships to support delivery on different aspects of the Forum’s sphere of activity.

6. Thematic Actions:

Towards targeted progress and the mobilization of support in specific areas of interest for most vulnerable nations

We supported the interest given through the CVF Summit to the following domains:

• 100% Renewable Energy – Decarbonization, Resilience, and Prosperity

• Accelerating Adaptation Action at Scale and at All Levels

• A Development Paradigm for People and Planet

• Domestic Multi-stakeholder Alliances to Drive Greater Action and Ambition

• Finance Agenda of V20 Economies

• Operationalizing Sustainable Lifestyles

• Stepping Up Climate Ambition to Meet The 1.5°C Warming Limit

• Sustainable Ocean Economy—Advancing Climate and Ocean Action

• Transforming Conventional Industrial Models (and South-South/SIDS-SIDS cooperation)

• Women’s Leadership for Climate Action

7. Summit Appreciation and Follow-Up:

Towards implementation of the outcome of the CVF Virtual Summit

We express thanks to the Chair, Troika and Summit partner organizations, in addition to the Summit Champions, and the CVF Expert Advisory Group, and we lend our support to the Chair and Troika to take forward follow-up of the CVF Virtual Summit together with the collaboration of all members.

8. Next Meeting:

Towards maintaining Leaders’ focus towards addressing the threats of, and seizing opportunities linked to, climate change, through periodic Summit level convenings of the CVF

We are committed to the periodic reconvening of the CVF at Summit Level, at least every five years, in an entirely online format towards reducing emissions, increasing transparency and inclusivity, and maximizing scarce resources for climate action.

Adopted by leaders online this 22nd of November 2018


(HoS/HoG Member states delivering statements/participating)


(HoS/HoG Observers delivering statements/participating; International organizations delivering


Annex 1: CVF Virtual Summit UNFCCC Talanoa Dialogue Inputs

In addition to the Jumemmej Declaration, CVF Leaders highlighted the following points:

We cannot survive or thrive if Paris Agreement goals go unfulfilled

● As a global phenomenon, affecting all humankind, impacts of climate change are nevertheless very unevenly felt and fall disproportionately on the poor and vulnerable, placing over one billion people residing within the CVF member countries at serious and growing peril.

● For some, climate threats become existential in nature when warming surpasses 1.5°C, as, according to the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, even between 1.5°C and 2°C instabilities could result in multi-meter long-term rises in sea level that would permanently inundate low-lying territories around the world and entirely submerge atoll nations in their natural state.

● Even if warming is limited to 1.5°C, substantial global increases in weather extremes and impacts compared with today would result, and necessitate parallel efforts to urgently accelerate adaptation, build resilience and strengthen disaster risk reduction with similar ambition to emission reductions that are consistent with 1.5°C.

● At 1.5°C, the limits to adaptation for many impacts will already be reached across world regions, resulting unmanageable consequences that entail loss and damage. Beyond that level of warming, adaptation would be increasingly ineffective as a growing number of impacts become unmanageable requiring increasingly special measures to address growing losses and damages. Ambitious climate action is central to our sustainable development and prosperity

● A significant and ever-growing portion of the actions necessary to contain climate pollution are socially beneficial and will increase the prosperity and overall welfare of the countries that take them, even before climate impacts are considered.

● A just transition is entirely possible, and a vital priority, requiring a range of social interventions to secure workers’ jobs and livelihoods while enabling the rapid progression of climate action so urgently needed without compromise to sustainable development and social progress.

● Renewable energy is also fundamental for sustainable development and the achievement of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goal for access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, when around one billion people continue to live without electricity.

● Given the global extent of threats, ambitious climate action constitutes an unprecedented opportunity to uphold a wide range of fundamental human rights, wherein more support to governments, including adequate resources within the UNFCCC secretariat, to assist with their capacity to implement and leverage those benefits would facilitate the harnessing of these, as would enhanced cooperation between United Nations human rights bodies and the UNFCCC, which should be effectively promoted.

● According to the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees, limiting warming to this level actually provides for higher global aggregated economic growth, in addition to lower risks to natural and human systems, compared with higher temperatures, while no country can afford to pursue development that is not resilient to climate change.

● Amid economic realities, widespread poverty, and considerable capacity constraints, vulnerable developing countries are pursuing pioneering and innovative approaches to take action to the limits of existing capabilities, but require support including financial, technological and capacity-related, to achieve the full ambition of possible climate actions to keep populations safe and to harness benefits of climate action.

Our future hinges on new and enhanced global climate ambition materializing by 2020

● As clarified by the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees, the effort required for 1.5°C is similar to what is needed to limit warming to 2°C but is more pronounced and rapid over the next decades, requiring drastic and urgent emission reductions of about 45% and a 60-80% lower reliance on coal power by 2030 (based on 2010 levels).

● Current NDCs are not enough to stay below the Paris Agreement temperature limits and achieve its adaptation goals. Without a societal transformation and rapid implementation of ambitious greenhouse gas reduction measures, limiting warming to 1.5°C, and achieving sustainable development, will be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible, to achieve–doing so requires all countries, and non-state actors, to strengthen their contributions to climate action without delay.

● Not seizing the opportunity, agreed at COP21, for all nations to submit new NDCs by 2020 would set back the possibility of a concerted global effort to increase the ambition of countries by half a decade when it is imperative that action is taken by all countries, who must work altogether. Waiting until the next agreed NDC submission moment of 2025 under the Paris Agreement would force vulnerable nations and vulnerable people everywhere to assume reckless and unjustifiable risks.

● In order to provide adequate time for all nations to prepare for increasing the ambition of NDCs in 2020, considering enhanced national efforts on adaptation, mitigation, finance, technology and capacity building, COP24 must clearly initiate a process, informed by the Talanoa Dialogue and the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, to generate new ambition in which context the 2019 United Nations Climate Summit must help further strengthen global efforts by the 2020 submission deadline for revised NDCs.

● Developed countries should, motivated by an overwhelming historic responsibility, show greater leadership in climate action prior to 2020 as a contribution to reducing the burden of efforts and minimizing risks, while the provision of enhanced support to developing countries, and especially LDCs and SIDS, on finance, technology and capacity building, will be indispensable both to the implementation of existing NDCS and to unlocking the full potential of new ambition in adaptation and mitigation by 2020. This and contributions to raising NDC ambition by 2020 should reflect the basis of equity and the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in the light of different national circumstances, that guides all implementation of the Paris Agreement.

● Since the first set of NDCs were established ahead of COP21 and before the 1.5°C temperature limit was agreed, advances in knowledge and reconsideration of efforts in cases already offer new opportunities for ambition. Elsewhere, countries may already be exceeding their initial targets. Should further international support materialize, including through full delivery on existing financial commitments new and additional to Official Development Assistance (ODA) commitments, greater ambition would also be catalyzed. With all countries contributing a degree of additional ambition in their national contributions over and above the existing efforts, a new, global contribution to raising the level of the response to climate change could ensure the window to limiting warming to 1.5°C remains within reach, and with it the fate of the most vulnerable secure.


* Jumemmej is a Marshallese word of seafaring origin signifying a call to action of vigilance, keeping watch against threats

advance copy – embargo 21:00 MHT 22 Nov 2018


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