PARIS, France — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Monday joined 29 other leaders in seizing day one of the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) by jointly issuing a historic declaration linking the hands of the world’s vulnerable countries to combat climate change.
The broad coalition of middle income, least developed and small island developing states worldwide, opened the prospect of high-ambition agreements at COP21.
They issued the strongest call to date for full de-carbonization of the world economy by shifting to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, and zero emission by mid-century to keep the world on track to achieve the target of below 1.5 degrees of warming.
“Individually, we are already survivors; collectively, we are a force towards a fairer, more climate-proactive world,” President Aquino said.
The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), a body of countries highly vulnerable to climate change founded in 2009, adopted the Manila-Paris Declaration and a three-year Road Map of Activities aimed at enhancing cooperation and protecting the world’s most vulnerable countries against the adverse effects of climate change.
A commitment to reduce emissions is most likely a commitment to strengthen economic growth. This has been the experience of several vulnerable countries, such as Costa Rica.
The Forum’s dedicated track of Ministers of Finance, the Vulnerable Twenty (V20) Group, also reported on updates from the efforts of its Working Group since its foundation last month in Lima, Peru.
Chair of the V20 and Philippine Secretary of Finance, Cesar Purisima announced, “We are convinced that the V20 has its role to play in helping to unlock the full potential of climate finance as we look to a new international partnership for moving our effort forward.”
“We will work in this context to take steps to enable our economies to benefit from US$ 20 billion in new and additional finance by 2020, drawing from international, regional and domestic sources, and leveraging maximum degrees of private finance.”
The third high-level meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum held here Monday was the culmination of nearly two years of expert, diplomatic and senior official consultations, including five regional meetings that culminated on November 9 to 11 with a global preparatory meeting in Manila that issued The Manila Communiqué.
All nominated incoming member countries named in The Manila Communiqué were recognized by the body. PNA