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Non Governmental Diplomacy: Subjects

Climate change

PFN in charge: Piango

The climate crisis is indeed upon us. Our current greenhouse gas concentrations (380 ppm of carbon dioxide equivalent) could very soon exceed the danger threshold of 450 ppm, which would mean a 2ºC temperature increase. A temperature increase of more than 5ºC would correspond to the temperature change experienced since the last ice age. Exceeding this threshold could have irreversible effects on ecosystems, water resources, food, coastlines, and health.

Developing countries and the least developed countries (LDCs) in particular, are the most vulnerable to climate change. They are already suffering from climate shocks – droughts, flooding and storms— even if they cannot be attributed with certainty to climate change. These climate shocks will exacerbate existing economic, social, political and environmental vulnerabilities. For instance, For instance, Climate Change is an issue of “life and death” in the Pacific Islands. The extra-ordinary situation of low lying atoll people facing inevitable forced and total resettlement as a result of climate change effects. The total population of Pacific Island States is approximately 8 millions.

The scientific observations are clear, but policy responses have not measured up. That it is urgent to act to stabilise the climate over the long term has already been proven. It is also an issue of justice for humankind as well as ecological justice. It is an issue of the recognition of the Dignity of Humanity. Ambitious efforts to adapt to and mitigate climate change (lowering greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sequestration) are necessary.

Debates and positions

The 13th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (3-15 December 2007, Bali), a new period of negotiations has been opened to enable the full, effective and sustained implementation of the Convention through long-term cooperative action, now, up to and beyond 2012, in order to reach an agreement and adopt a decision at its fifteenth session in Copenhagen (December 2009). This agreement will be based on five pillars: shared vision, mitigation, adaptation to climate change, financing and technology.

The Bali Action Plan represents considerable progress because it includes developing countries in the negotiations to define future commitments and reduction actions for the period beyond 2012. However until now industrialised countries have remained divided as to the targets to attain for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, beyond 2012.

Except the European Union, few developed countries have announced ambitious GHG reduction targets. This is very much criticised by developing countries who have continuously stated during the various meetings that their commitment was conditional on the level of absolute and binding reductions for industrialised countries. Furthermore, developed countries have not yet provided developing countries with figures on their financial support. The North – South divide is still here. Less than 6 months are left to the Parties to the Convention and to the Protocol to come up with an agreement, based on the negotiations texts released in June.

The pacific CSOs position on Climate Change addresses the four pillars of the Bali Action Plan (BAP) which are:

  • Adaptation
  • Mitigation
  • Technology cooperation
  • Financing Mechanism.

Pacific CSOs are calling on Pacific Island Leaders Forum for their political commitment to:

  • call for an ambitious and forward looking agreement in Denmark Conference Parties 15th session (COP15) in December 2009.
  • to impress upon international community the urgent need to set an ambitious limit to release of greenhouse gases to protect our environment and to safe guard the health and welfare of Pacific People.
  • to use the critical opportunity in the COP15 process to negotiate for a just resettlement framework for Pacific Peoples affected by climate change.
  • to consider the issue of the Right to Comprehensive Resettlement be recognized in the International Human Rights law framework and International law for a more binding commitment from all states.

Negotiations

Negotiations are continuously taking places:

  • Amongst CSOs at national and regional level; with individual CSOs and their respective governments
  • Pacific Island Leaders Forum and Regional CSOs
  • CSOs and International Partners
  • Pacific Island Leaders Forum and International Partners
  • Association of Small Island States (AOSIS)
  • European Union: EU Environment, Economic and Financial Affairs and
  • General Affairs Council, European Commission, European parliament
  • Major Economies Forum (MEF)
  • G8
  • Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development
  • CAN International / CAN Europe

PFN responsable: Piango

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