PINA – 03:04 am GMT+12, 03/12/2020, United States
Three Small Island States from around the world today jointly declared new Climate Action Plans at an event commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
Ministers representing Maldives, Nauru ,and St Lucia say their updated climate plans, or new Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), to be submitted to the UNFCCC, are significant improvements on those submitted five years ago for the Paris Agreement, and are fully aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
They also noted that “Loss and Damage” feature in their updated plans as a legitimate recourse available to these vulnerable nations in instances where their adaptive capacities are exceeded due to climate change.
“AOSIS members – and particularly their Pacific Women negotiators in the UNFCCC – have put in a lot of hard work and energy into the issue of Loss and Damage,” explained Minister Rennier Gadabu of Nauru. “It is crucial to our future.”
“The inclusion of Loss and Damage in our climate plans is not only a symbolic marker for the rest of the world to recognise and acknowledge, but simply a reflection of the sad reality of our frontline circumstances,” said Minister Dr.Gale Rigobert of Saint Lucia.
SIDS have historically contributed the least to this existential crisis, but are poised to suffer the worst from its devastating impacts.
Five AOSIS member states have already delivered updated Climate plans, the most of any country negotiating group in the UNFCCC. And despite being battered by the socio-economic effects of the pandemic far more disproportionately than the developed countries, 17 more SIDS have resolved to do so in 2020, with another 13 due early next year, well in advance of COP26 .
“The Covid pandemic should not halt our momentum on climate action,” stated Minister Abdulla Shahid of Maldives. “AOSIS stands united in responding to the call from the Secretary General [UN] for a green recovery from the pandemic and adaption of his proposed climate actions to shape the economic recovery,” he noted.
AOSIS was formed in 1990, as governments began to negotiate the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
“Even in 1990, as the scientific evidence of the potential impacts of global warming were only just beginning to be understood, the smallest and most vulnerable countries in the world recognised the existential threat it posed to us. It remains of utmost concern to us all today, 30 years on,” concluded Ambassador Dr Aubrey Webson, Incoming Chair of AOSIS.