Climate Vulnerable Countries Issue Declaration for Copenhagen

climatevulnerableforum10 November 2009: Maldives hosted a high-level climate change summit focusing on ‘climate vulnerable' States, from 9-10 November 2009, in Bandos Island Resort, with a view to drawing attention to the specific challenges, adaptation and green development needs of the States that are most vulnerable to global climate change.

The Forum developed a Declaration to be presented in Copenhagen, signed by Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Tanzania and Vietnam.

In the Declaration, climate-vulnerable States assert that anthropogenic climate change poses an existential threat to their nations, cultures and way of life, thus undermining the rights to sustainable development, life and self-determination, as well as the international law principles that oblige all States to ensure that activities within their jurisdiction or control do not cause damage to the environment of other States or of areas beyond the limits of national jurisdiction. They declare their determination to show moral leadership on climate change by commencing immediately to green their economies as their contribution towards achieving carbon neutrality.

They call on UNFCCC parties to include, in the Copenhagen outcome document, an ambitious agreement on adaptation finance, which should prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable countries, especially in the near-term. They urge developed countries to provide public financing amounting to at least 1.5% of their gross domestic product, in addition to innovative sources of finance, annually by 2015 to assist developing countries to make their transition to a climate resilient low-carbon economy, on top of developed country commitments to deliver 0.7% of their gross national income as official development assistance. They also underline that the allocation of financing, under the UNFCCC Conference of the Parties, should be accessible, transparent, consensual, accountable and results-oriented, and should prioritize the needs of the most vulnerable countries.

They further call on UNFCCC parties to address the health, human rights and security implications of climate change, including the need to prepare communities for relocation, to protect persons displaced across borders due to climate change-related impacts, and the need to create a legal framework to protect the human rights of those left stateless as a result of climate change.

Climate-vulnerable States further decide to hold a second meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum in Kiribati in 2010, and request support from the UN system to assist the most vulnerable developing countries to take action in pursuit of the Declaration. [Forum Website] [The Declaration]