By Climate Vulnerability Monitor
Nineteen of the most vulnerable countries to climate change have today agreed to present a unified front filling the leadership vacuum ahead of COP17 in Durban as they signed the Dhaka Declaration of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, following a major ministerial meeting held in Bangladesh. Inaugurated by the UN Secretary General, Ban-Ki moon, participating countries insisted on urgent adoption of a comprehensive and legally-binding global agreement capable of fully attaining the objectives of the UNFCCC.
The Forum’s Declaration called on Durban to ensure securing of a second term of the Kyoto protocol without a gap between the first and the second, and a legally-binding agreement on greenhouse gas emissions cuts. It also included committing the group of vulnerable countries to low carbon development and called for a new global Climate Vulnerability Monitor on low-carbon development.
José María Figueres, trustee of DARA, the international organisation that supports the CVF, and former president of Costa Rica commented:
“Vulnerable countries are insulted by the finance default. I call on all countries present to occupy Durban.“
The Dhaka Declaration also reaffirms the commitment by climate vulnerable countries to focus on adaptation, particularly in the short term in order to minimise immediate danger, and calls on developed countries to support the implementation of schemes. Similarly, the declaration recognises an urgent need for technology transfer from the international community as a means of ensuring fuller and more pragmatic technological developments.
Sheik Hasina, Honorable Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Bangladesh, addressed the delegates:
“Climate change caused over 300,000 additional deaths last year. We the vulnerable countries suffer the most for our limited coping capacities. Bangladesh and other vulnerable countries could not wait for international response to climate causes…we are implementing 134 climate change adaptation and mitigation action plans.”
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, who inaugurated the conference said:
“Governments [of major emitters] must lead the way to catalyze the $100 billion dollars per annum from public and private sources that was pledged to 2020. Durban must complete what was agreed last year in Cancún.”
The 19 signatory countries who adopted the declaration were: Afghanistan, Bangladesh (chair), Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.