By Reinhard Jacobsen
BRUSSELS (IDN) – “We are most vulnerable, have contributed the least to climate change, yet are most ambitious towards the 1.5 C goal,” said Tommy E. Remengesau, Jr., President of Palau.
The sentiment was echoed by the other high-level speakers emphasizing that enhanced nationally determined contributions (NDCs) would require enhanced support and enhanced partnerships.
“We are committed to champion ambitious action on climate change,” reaffirmed Wilfred P. Elrington, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Belize.
Bintony Kutsaira, M.P., Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining of Malawi added that “the Climate Change phenomenon is an issue of survival for Malawi and all LDCs requiring immediate and urgent action”.
The ACP Secretary General, Dr. Patrick I. Gomes, urged other countries to increase their ambition and support joint efforts towards “1.5°C to stay alive”.
These statements and reiterations were expressed by States across Africa, the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) which remain deeply committed to urgent and effective climate action.
The occasion was the joint side event co-organised by the 79-nation ACP Group, the coalition of 44 small island and low-lying coastal developing states, including five observers – AOSIS (Alliance of Small Island States) – and the European Commission (EC) on the margins of the United National General Assembly in New York on September 26 where the organizations highlighted the need for urgency to address the “climate emergency”.
But financing and quick access to funds remains a primary challenge for effective implementation of NDCs, despite the numerous existing initiatives on climate change by various development partners.
As Dr. Hussain R. Hassan, Minister of Environment of the Maldives, noted: “We cannot always have bankable projects. The reality is irrespective of the bankability or profitability our people needs adaptation and mitigation financing now and urgently”.
The event was also joined by Dr. German Velasquez Director of Mitigation and Adaptation Division at the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and Pradeep Kurukulasuriya, Director of Climate, Environment at the United Nations Development Fund (UNDP).
The two representatives underscored the importance of building capacity at the national and regional levels to support implementation of NDCs. They also highlighted a number of available initiatives, and financial means, that countries and regions could access to support NDC implementation. These include the GCF’s Readiness Fund and the newly-launched joint initiative by GCF-IRINA-SEA4all and UNDP: Climate Investment Platform.
Just days before the event, the ACP and its long-standing partner, the European Commission, signed a Joint Declaration strongly reaffirming their commitment to effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement. [IDN-InDepthNews – 01 October 2019]
Photo credit: AOSIS
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