21st Conference of parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)

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21st Conference of parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)

Post  Sirop14 on Tue Dec 01, 2015 2:52 pm

21st Conference of parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC)

Seychelles emphasises its stance

The UNFCCC COP21 conference taking place in Paris is perhaps our generation’s last opportunity to meaningfully address climate change. Already, Seychelles and other small island developing states (Sids) are being adversely impacted by climate-related extreme weather events. This year alone, deadly typhoons and cyclones in the Pacific, hurricanes in the Caribbean, record tide and floods in the Indian Ocean, and other life-altering changes have struck the shores of Seychelles and other Sids. While slower onset events like sea level rise and ocean acidification continue to assault our small states culminating in marked outbreaks of an algal bloom, climate change in all its forms is a new, harsh, reality for us and it is getting worse.

To achieve the objectives of the Convention and protect the interests of Seychelles and other Sids, Seychelles feels that the Paris agreement must contain the following elements:

For Seychelles and other Sids, the Paris Agreement must be a balanced package that includes meaningful outcomes on all of the pillars of the mandate from Durban. They are mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology development and transfer, transparency of action and support, and capacity-building – as well as loss and damage as a separate and distinct issue. In particular, Seychelles wants to emphasise the following priorities:

Firstly, with respect to mitigation, Seychelles and other Sids are very concerned that the Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) brought forward this year have the world heading for about 3 degrees of warming. This would spell disaster for many small island states and other vulnerable countries. It is therefore critical that the Paris Agreement establishes medium and long-term emission reduction pathways that are capable of delivering a limitation of temperature increases consistent with Seychelles long-term temperature goal of “well below 1.5 degrees”, along with an indicative pathway for achieving it, including urgent peaking and deep mid-century emissions reductions.

Secondly, Seychelles wants to see in the agreement an increasingly ambitious mitigation performance over time from all parties through internationally legally binding, quantified mitigation commitments that increase global ambition over successive commitment cycles and as part of a robust process that takes into account the most recent science and technological opportunities.

Seychelles asked that the developed countries must continue to take the lead, and developing countries, especially the most vulnerable, will need support to make this happen.

Thirdly, the Paris agreement must explicitly recognise the special needs and circumstances of Sids, in order to ensure Seychelles’ and other Sids’ protection.

Fourthly, to address extreme weather events, sea level rise, ocean acidification and other severe impacts, an international mechanism on Loss and Damage must be a central and distinct element of the Paris package and lead to meaningful action. Climate change is already happening and it will only get worse in the years to come. Some impacts cannot be addressed through adaptation at all, given its inherent limits.

Lastly, tackling climate change and adapting to its impacts will require significantly scaled-up, new, additional and predictable financial resources, starting from the minimum of $100 billion USD per year by 2020. This should include special provisions to enhance access by Sids, especially to public, grant-based support for adaptation, given the particular challenges and the attendant existential threat that climate change poses to our countries. For Seychelles and other Sids, finance is critical to effective implementation, and in light of our capacity constraints, simplified access is essential.

Seychelles feels that there is an unparalleled chance here in Paris to finally set the world on a sustainable path, but success is by no means guaranteed. It will require the whole of the international community to be constantly mindful of what is at stake: nothing short of the survival of Seychelles and the most vulnerable among other Sids.

COP21 must be a turning point – our generation’s last best opportunity to meet the climate change challenge and accelerate the urgent transition to resilient, low-carbon societies. It is imperative that the international community do what is necessary, not just what is politically expedient.

So today, the world is united in Paris by a shared understanding that we have to cooperate as an international community in order to solve our generation’s biggest challenges. Addressing climate change demands concerted action for many years to come. Seychelles and other Sids firmly believe this effort must start now in Paris.


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