Vulnerable Nations Pave a Moral Path to 1.5

Andres Fuentes | November 18, 2016.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) launched its Marrakech Vision on the last day of the UN climate talks, explaining how its members would both fight climate change and better the lives of their citizens.

“If we are to reach the 1.5 degree Celsius target, we need to deploy all tools at our disposal and ensure that both domestic and international efforts achieve results. In particular, special attention must be given to how developing countries adapt to the impacts of a warming planet,” said Ethiopian Natural Resources Minister Vincent Biruta at the Marrakech Vision launch.

First created in the lead up to the Copenhagen meeting in 2009, CVF has been instrumental in highlighting the risks of a warming planet and pushing for action to keep global warming below 1.5°C. As a group of nations facing some of the most severe impacts of  climate change, their collective voice carries a moral authority that allows them to punch above their weight in the climate negotiations.

The Marrakech Vision lays out concrete actions and commitments that the 48 members will take to keep warming below 1.5°C, peak global emissions by 2020, and reach net global carbon neutrality by 2050; all stated goals of the Paris Agreement.

It commits the forum members to updating their mitigation commitments in the run-up to 2020 negotiations, while noting that support may be needed for this increase in ambition. At the same time, they will prepare low greenhouse gas development strategies. The document also commits the CVF to eliminating high-carbon investments and harmful subsidies.

Beyond mitigation efforts, the document touches on ending energy poverty and protecting water and food security while striving for 100 per cent renewable energy systems.

The announcement drew positive reactions from countries beyond the CVF, including China, France, and Germany.

“Today’s commitment by the Climate Vulnerable Forum to move toward powering their economies entirely with renewable energy is a bold vision that sets the pace for the world’s efforts to implement the Paris Agreement and move even more quickly to solve the climate crisis,” said Al Gore, the former US Vice President.

“These ambitious and inspiring commitments show the path forward for others and give us all renewed optimism that we are going to meet the challenge before us and meet it in time.”

As a forum for some of the most vulnerable countries, adaptation is especially important when talking about climate change. The Marshall Islands representative at the launch highlighted this vulnerability, saying that with an average elevation of two metres, his country will be amongst the first to disappear with sea level rise.

On adaptation, the CVF committed to urgently implement their national adaptation plans and to actively engage with a program to increase access to insurance against the impacts of climate change.

While the document focuses on climate change, the document’s vision is one that members hope will allow them to emerge as wealthy nations. To fulfill this vision, they will focus on attaining a significant increase in climate investment and public and private climate finance.

The specific plans presented in the CVF Marrakech Vision draw a stark contrast with Thursday’s Marrakech Action Proclamation, which was largely a rehashing of earlier commitments and which lacked any concrete steps to make its goals reality.

The CVF also welcomed five new members into their group, with Colombia, Gambia, Lebanon, Palestine, and Samoa being accepted.

comments powered by Disqus