Seychelles presses case for small island states at global environmental meeting
Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Wallace Cosgrow, in his address at the high-level segment of the conference. (Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles has urged countries to work together to prevent and mitigate any adverse impacts against the developmental aspirations and survival of small islands states at the UN conference on climate change (COP24).
The statement was made by the Seychelles’ Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change, Wallace Cosgrow, at the high-level segment of the conference which was held from December 2-15 in Katowice, Poland.
A press release from the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change said that after these two weeks of intense negotiations, “parties had reached a decision on most parts of the Paris Agreement Rulebook, paving the way for the pioneering treaty to come into force in 2020 as planned.”
According to the BBC news service, “The summit accord, reached by 196 states, outlines plans for a common rulebook for all countries - regulations that will govern the nuts and bolts of how countries cut carbon, provide finance to poorer nations and ensure that everyone is doing what they say they are doing.”
The principal secretary for climate change, Wills Agricole, who attended the conference said, “The outcome reflects the efforts Seychelles together with the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS) made to find a balance, and though Seychelles and all the members of AOSIS are not fully satisfied in the outcome, however, we recognise compromises needed to be made to move forward.”
Scheduled to end December 14, the conference was prolonged for an additional day to enable negotiators to finally come up with the 'Katowice Climate Change Deal. The delay was caused by a dispute on a report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of a temperature rise of 1.5 degrees Celsius. The adoption of the report at the COP24 was blocked by the US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait.
The Katowice agreement aims to deliver the Paris goals of limiting global temperature rises to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
The Seychelles’ delegation and all the members of AOSIS were disappointed that Parties were unable to welcome and accept the report and its findings. Seychelles urged Parties to increase their efforts in light of the IPCC stark warning.
On the Talanoa Dialogue which seeks to galvanise increased ambitions from countries and share climate change experiences, Seychelles and all AOSIS members urge leaders to build on this progress by exploring how existing solutions can provide avenues for them to immediately ramp up climate action.
After the two weeks of negotiations, parties had reached a decision on most parts of the Paris Agreement Rulebook which are the guidelines that will define how climate action is implemented and accounted for over the coming decades. The Rulebook is paving the way for the pioneering treaty to come into force in 2020 as planned.
The next Conference of the Parties 25 (COP25) will be hosted by Chile in partnership with Costa Rica.
Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, hopes the two countries will bring new energy and new urgency to these talks.