Developing nations most at risk due to climate change have urged leaders of the world’s biggest polluting countries to step up their ambition to match the scale of the climate crisis at the Climate Vulnerable Forum’s (CVF) Virtual Summit.
CVF nations showed leadership at the summit, which has just concluded, committing themselves to the 1.5-degree target by enhancing their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and calling on rich nations to do the same ahead of the UNFCCC’s Conference Of Parties (COP) meeting in Poland next month.
“At COP24, governments must act and commit to aligning their national plans with 1.5°C by 2020 and ensure that poor and vulnerable countries get the support they need to adapt to and mitigate climate change,” said Jennifer Morgan, Executive Director at Greenpeace International and CVF All-Women Summit Champion.
“It is the primary responsibility of the leaders in the EU, US, China and other big emitters to act responsibly and within the next few years turn the curve and achieve a safe and sustainable future.”
Vanuatu Foreign Minister Ralph Regenvanu used the summit to put fossil fuel companies on notice, warning that his nation was actively pursuing legal options to sue the corporations that have caused climate change.
CVF members also voted to adopt the Jummemj declaration, which draws its name from a Marshallese word of seafaring origin signifying a call to action of vigilance, keeping watch against threats.
“We urge COP24 to act on the findings of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C, as informed by the Talanoa Dialogue, sending a strong signal for all nations, and non-state actors, to contribute to the generation of new ambition, for the enhancement of all nationally determined contributions to the global response to climate change (NDCs) by 2020,” the declaration reads.
It also outlines a commitment by CVF members to raise their own NDCs by 2020 at the latest, as well as call for urgent action to increase flows of international climate finance to all nations and non-state actors to work cooperatively towards the realisation of the Paris Agreement.
“The CVF Summit is yet another example of vulnerable nations stepping up and showing real climate leadership for the rest of the world to follow,” Greenpeace Australia Pacific Head of Pacific Net, Kelvin Anthony said.
“The path to keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees is clear to all, but so far it is developing nations least equipped to respond that have been facing the threat with the seriousness and the urgency the crisis demands. All CVF nations have committed to revising up their NDCs to do all that is necessary to meet the 1.5 degree goal. Their message to the richer nations of this world is simple; if we can do it, why can’t you?”