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Parliaments in Climate Vulnerable Countries Submit Motions Urging 2020 Climate Action Targets

Parliaments in Climate Vulnerable Countries Submit Motions Urging 2020 Climate Action Targets

Flooded Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala after Hurricane Eta
Flooded Cobán, Alta Verapaz, Guatemala after Hurricane Eta
  • Inaugural CVF global parliamentary meeting commences with concerted joint effort for securing “climate prosperity”.
  • Parliaments pursuing motions calling on world’s governments to deliver on Paris Agreement promises, with enhanced climate targets by the UN’s midnight on 31 December deadline

25 November 2020, DHAKA: Senior parliamentarians of the 48-member Climate Vulnerable Forum met today to assess the state of international commitments ahead of a key UN climate accord deadline. Parliament motions were also launched calling on world governments to submit upgraded climate action targets before the end of the year — as required by the Paris Agreement — to protect vulnerable nations against the existential threat of climate heating.

In an attempt to ensure that the Paris Agreement — the only international mechanism the world has for fighting climate change — remains in working order, parliamentarians of climate threatened nations, including Bangladesh and the Philippines, presented parliamentary motions that are currently at the submission stage, calling on all countries to deliver their enhanced national climate action targets (known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or ‘NDCs’) to the UNFCCC before midnight on 31 December, the once in five year Paris Agreement deadline for all countries to increase ambition under the accord.

The motion in the Bangladeshi parliament, being submitted by Hon. Saber Chowdhury MP, a member for Dhaka, and also Honorary President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, urges action by the 31 December 2020 deadline, calling “on all governments to deliver new and higher ambition in their nationally determined contributions (NDCs).” Highlighting “the critical 1.5C goal of the Paris Agreement fast slipping from our reach” and the “Midnight” deadline being “crucial to secure the future of Bangladesh and those most vulnerable around the Globe.”

Presiding the event, the Hon. Saber Chowdhury, MP, Honorary President of IPU, said:

“There will be a ‘Midnight Reckoning’ this 31 December. We are living a planetary emergency. Every action, every moment, everything we can do to save the planet counts. Our message today is: not only are the vulnerable at the forefront of the drive for urgent new climate ambition, fighting for survival. Hardest hit, our parliaments are also ready for this higher ambition. We are becoming organized together and we have the plans, the tools and the law-making capabilities to make a significant difference.”

In the Philippines, Deputy Speaker Loren Legarda MP, will submit a motion calling for “the delivery as foreseen under the UNFCCC Paris Agreement of enhanced and updated NDCs by midnight of 31 December 2020”. The motion goes on to note the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s “Midnight Survival Deadline for the Climate” initiative, and highlights “the extent to which the survival of the most vulnerable is tied to compliance with the Paris Agreement.”

Deputy Speaker of the Philippines Loren Legarda, who also proposed the creation of a CVF Parliament’s League, said:

“Just from October to this month, the Philippines was battered in succession by typhoons Ofel, Saudel, Molave, super typhoon Goni, tropical storm Atsani, Etau, and typhoon Vamco. In light of these intensifying impacts of the climate crisis, we are required to do much more. If countries historically responsible for the climate crisis won’t act with urgency, we in the developing world must act in concert to compel them to take action. Vulnerable country parliaments play a crucial role in making this happen.”

Former Maldives President, and People’s Majlis Speaker, HE Mohamed Nasheed, said:

“Nations face a deadline of midnight on New Year’s Eve to submit their enhanced, updated NDCs under the Paris Agreement. The window is closing, but it is not yet too late. We can still save the Maldives, and all of us in the most vulnerable category, from the existential risks of climate heating.”

News of the parliamentary motions was made public during the inaugural parliamentarians’ conference of Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) members from across Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Pacific. In the first such gathering, the parliamentarians also:

  • Threshed out clear actions that parliaments can take to pursue an integrated “prosperity agenda”, prioritizing rapid socio-economic development while also delivering ambitious climate resilience and low-carbon progress.
  • Established a CVF parliaments league that would enable South-South cooperation to accelerate the sharing of laws, financing instruments and approaches, regulations, tender processes, and other parliamentary actions to help member countries decarbonise their economies.
  • Explored principles for locally-led adaptation that can enhance the resilience of the world’s most vulnerable groups.

The Paris Agreement calls all signatory countries to submit stronger climate targets, or NDCs, every 5 years. In-line with the Paris Agreement, all countries’ first updated NDC is due in 2020, by midnight on 31 December. The NDCs state what each country will do at a national level to reduce emissions, enhance their resilience to climate threats, and help finance climate action.

To date, over three quarters of the world’s countries have formally committed to strengthen their NDCs by the year-end. However, only 17 countries have actually submitted their NDCs to the United Nations, and only 13 of those NDCs contained improved climate targets, exposing vulnerable communities around the world to extreme future climate dangers.

The CVF is monitoring the progress of countries’ NDC submissions through a dedicated online “2020 Climate Survival Leadership Barometer”: https://www.thecvf.org/midnight-climate-survival

In addition to supporting the call for enhanced, updated NDCs, the CVF parliamentary motions also highlight the efforts their own countries are making towards climate resilience and decarbonization.

In Bangladesh, which holds the CVF presidency, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has announced her government is working on the ‘Mujib Planetary Prosperity Decade’ action plan, which will chart a path forward for Bangladesh to deliver its development goals while rendering it more climate resilient, and decarbonise its economy.

The Philippines motion calls on its government to “fast-track the development of a national Climate Prosperity Plan, as proposed by the CVF presidency of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, to serve as a country-led strategic investment platform and tool to mobilize financing for renewable energy and climate resilience projects to enable job growth, regional economic growth, and to enhance protection of highly climate vulnerable communities of the Philippines.”

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