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CVF summit offers fresh hope for climate accord implementation – Stakeholders

President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and incoming Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), Dr. Hilda C. Heine, on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 announced the first ever carbon-free online summit of world leaders on November 22, 2018.

Hilda Heine, President of Marshall Islands

The announcement, says the Climate Action Network (CAN), gives new hope that the world will attain a critical decision by all countries to step up ambition at the next climate talks in Katowice, Poland, in December.

“This decision is a critical outcome that CAN and its partners have been working towards as 2018 is a key year and dubbed as the ‘Step Up year’ or ‘trigger year’. It is the first important test of the Paris Agreement and the ratchet up mechanism constituting its core. For the Paris Agreement to reach its goal of keeping warming below 1.5C, countries must revise, update and enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) every five years. The next round is 2020. But for countries to come prepared to submit new NDCs in 2020 they need to start the process with national consultations as early as January 2019,” says the group.

The CVF Summit comes after key international moments including the Global Climate Action Summit (GCAS) and the release of the Special Report on 1.5C by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

At the GCAS non-state actors are expected to demonstrate what they are doing to curb emissions and keep warming in check and the release of the IPCC report is expected to tell governments that they need to do a lot more to reach the temperature goal of 1.5C, otherwise vulnerable countries and cities will suffer and face an ill fate.

“Warming beyond the limit set in Paris will threaten global security and the economy,” warns CAN. “The report will tell governments that transitioning to 100% renewable energy is the only road to salvation and to achieve optimum health, prosperity, jobs and security. The CVF Summit will come to stress this and it would be the time when at least 50 governments will demonstrate to the world that climate solutions exist, are possible to adopt and economically productive.”

Reacting to the development, climate stakeholders described the CVF Summit as the moment of leadership they have been waiting for.

California Governor, Edmund G. Brown Jr.: “President Heine will help carry the torch of climate action from this year’s Global Climate Action Summit to the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Poland this December.”

Hoesung Lee, Chair of the IPCC: The IPCC is working hard to complete the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5ºC, to be released in early October subject to approval. As IPCC Chair I am delighted to hear that the Climate Vulnerable Forum is organising its first carbon-free summit in November. I hope that our report will provide a valuable scientific evidence base for your discussions, as well as informing the negotiations at COP24 a couple of weeks later.”

Winnie Byanyima, Oxfam International Executive Director: “The countries least responsible for causing climate change are taking matters into their own hands. They are showing the rest of the world the way to fight climate change. This is the true spirit of the Paris Agreement, and the kind of leadership that people on the front lines of extreme weather demand.”

Jennifer Morgan, Greenpeace International Executive Director: “This Summit is a call to action for the world’s leaders to step up and prove that they’ve heard the voices of the world’s vulnerable and that they too will act with the responsibility and urgency demanded of them.

“It puts the biggest polluters to shame that the countries who will be hit hardest by climate change are also the ones leading the fight against global warming. Other countries need to wake up and act because our collective fate will be sealed by the actions taken today.”

Esther Watts, Country Director of CARE International in Ethiopia: “Climate change is a major development challenge in Ethiopia. How the country and,  its diverse peoples, communities, and households respond to the multi-faceted impacts of climate change determine Ethiopia’s prospects for growth and transformation, gender equality, and livelihood resilience and sustainability. Recognising this, the Government of Ethiopia, CARE and other development partners have been making considerable efforts to respond to climate change impacts. The CVF summit will be an important opportunity to raise awareness of climate actions taken, and to trigger further cooperation to scale them up.”

Naoko Ishii, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility: “It is the poorest and most vulnerable countries that are hit the hardest from climate change.  At this critical time, we all need to raise our climate ambition and the GEF is committed to transformational change.  We all share one planet in common, and in its new four-year investment strategy the GEF puts a strong emphasis on financing for Least Developed Countries and Small Island Developing States. The CVF Leaders’ Summit is an important opportunity to accelerate action towards a low carbon future.”

Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC): “The IFRC welcomes the announcement of the CVF Summit as an opportunity to bring greater attention to rising climate risks that are affecting the most vulnerable communities in the world. The impacts of climate change are here, now, and we will continue to see devastating humanitarian consequences unless urgent action is taken. For this reason we look forward to the Summit resulting in increased ambition, solidarity and urgency to build resilience and achieve all the goals of the Paris Agreement.”

Tomás Insua, Executive Director, Global Catholic Climate Movement: “The poor and future generations most suffer the consequences of climate change, even though they least contribute to its causes.  Plain and simple, this is an issue of justice. The nations that are most vulnerable to the climate crisis are calling for us to act, and our faith tells us that standing with them is a moral opportunity. Loving our neighbors is a courageous act. In response to Pope Francis’ call, we are committed to making the choices today that will step up our ambition and keep us below the 1.5 C degree threshold.”

Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Leader of WWF’s global climate and energy programme: “Climate change is the greatest challenge facing our world, threatening the delicate web of life that sustains ecosystems and the lives and livelihoods of millions of people. Our leaders have the power to change this, to be part of history as we shift to a low-carbon world. This starts with increasing climate action reflected in individual country climate plans (or Nationally Determined Contributions, NDCs). So the Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit is a welcome initiative, coming at just the right time. In this year of stepping up climate action, world leaders need to be bold, to act now and at scale, to help ensure that they keep the promise of a 1.5°C degree world alive.”

May Boeve, 350.org Executive Director: “This is a powerful call to action that must resonate around the world. With their commitment to reach 100% renewable energy, climate vulnerable countries are leading the way to a fossil free future. Their bold actions put to shame the delay and denial we see from so many rich countries like the United States. The message from the Climate Vulnerable Forum is clear: if you’re still building fossil fuel projects, you’re endangering the very survival of these nations. No matter where we live, the climate movement stands in solidarity with all vulnerable communities who are on the frontlines of this crisis. Together, we can end the age of fossil fuels and create a just and sustainable world for all.”

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