The UN Climate Summit
Harmony with Nature
[The President of Bolivia, Mr Evo Morales, presented a statement on behalf of the Group of 77 and China, at the Climate Summit at the UN in New York on 23 Sept 2014. The Summit was organised by the UN Secretary General. President Morales' speech is reproduced below.]
Climate change is one of
the most serious global challenges
of our times. We underscore the fact that developing countries continue to suffer the most from the adverse impacts of climate change, the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events and the impact of response measures, even though they are historically the least responsible for climate change. Accordingly, we call for developed countries to take the lead in responding to climate change. Climate change threatens not only the development prospects of developing countries and their achievement of sustainable development but also the very existence and survival of countries, societies and the ecosystems of our Mother Earth.
We affirm that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the primary international, intergovernmental forum for negotiating the global response to climate change. In this regard, we stress that the international response to climate change must fully respect the principles, provisions and ultimate objective of the Convention, in particular the principles of equity and of common but differentiated responsibilities.
Fulfilling the ultimate objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will require strengthening the multilateral, rules-based regime under the Convention and we therefore further reaffirm the importance of continuing the negotiations on climate change under the Convention. We therefore further reaffirm the importance of the negotiations on climate change under the Convention in accordance with its principles and provisions and of adopting, in 2015, a protocol, another legal instrument or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all parties. The new agreement must address all elements of the Convention including adaptation in a balanced manner and be ambitious, equitable and firmly based on science.
Developed countries, given their historical responsibility, need to take the lead in addressing this challenge in accordance with the principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
There is an urgent need to close the ambition gap. We express concern about the lack of fulfilment of commitments by developed countries. In addressing this gap, the focus must not be limited to mitigation only but also address gaps relating to finance, technology and support for capacity-building, balanced with a focus on adaptation to climate change. We emphasize that developed countries must take robust and ambitious mitigation commitments, with ambitious quantitative targets for limiting and reducing emissions.
The Kyoto Protocol remains an important instrument to contribute to close the ambition gap and to addressing the climate crisis. In Doha (Qatar) we took a fundamental step to further enhance the international climate change regime, through the historic adoption of a fully ratifiable amendment to the Kyoto Protocol for its second commitment period. We have reached concrete provisions for ensuring the environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol.
The Group of 77 alongwith China urges Annex I Parties to fully implement the decisions achieved in Doha on the second commitment period. This will be essential for allowing the Kyoto Protocol to continue to serve as a cornerstone of the multilaterally-agreed rules based system under the Convention and a full reflection of its principles, in particular the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.
Increasing pre-2020 ambition must be primarily achieved through the implementation of the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and the outcome of the Bali Action Plan in accordance with principles and provisions of the Convention, with developed country Parties taking the lead. The pre-2020 mitigation gap would not even have existed if the developed countries had committed to an emission reduction of 40% below their 1990 levels by 2020.
We emphasize our extreme disappointment and concern over those developed country Parties that are not Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, have withdrawn from the KP or that have not yet ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. We believe that the failure of any developed country Party to ratify a legally-binding, quantified commitment under the Kyoto Protocol for the post-2020 period raises serious concerns about its credibility and sincerity in combating climate change. We urge all Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to revisit and increase the ambition of their second commitment period targets and ratify these enhanced commitments. We further urge all developed country Parties, whether they are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol or not, to revisit and increase the level of their mitigation ambition for the pre-2020 period under the Convention, without conditionality.
The full ratification of the Doha amendment by Annex I Parties will be crucial to build trust. Ratification of the second commitment period is an important stepping stone towards the new 2015 Agreement and its entry into force and implementation from 2020.
The extent to which developing countries will effectively implement their commitments under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change will depend on the effective implementation by developed countries of their commitments under the Convention related to financial resources and transfer of technology and will take fully into account that economic and social development and poverty eradication are the first and overriding priorities of developing countres.
There is an urgent need to have a clear commitment of Developed country Parties to provide at least USD 70 billion per year by 2016 rising to USD 100 billion per year by 2020 as a floor for accounting, and leading to further increased commitments on the provision of financial support for the post-2020 period.
The efforts of developing countries for contributing with mitigation actions should be undertaken through the provision of finance, development and transfer of technology and capacity-building, taking into account the imperatives of equitable access to sustainable development, the right to development, the survival of countries and protecting the integrity of Mother Earth.
The adverse impacts of climate change are devastating societies in the developing world, threating the right to development and survival of peoples and nations. Developing countries are suffering the permanent hits of extreme events, eroding drastically our advances in the process of poverty eradication and sustainable development. We need structural solutions to climate crisis as well as immediate measures in order to address the impacts of extreme events. The Group welcomes the outcome of the COP19 decision of the Warsaw international mechanism for loss and damage associated with climate change impacts, and the need to make this mechanism functional is paramount. This mechanism must address the needs of developing countries emergirg from extreme and slow-onset events, and the urgency for this mechanism has only increased. We call for the operationalization of the Mechanism established by this decision, taking into account the principles of the Convention and the national development processes. Carrying out such actions requires the provision of adequate support and creating the appropriate arrangements and for meaningful activities.
The objective of the Convention, as set out in Article 2, is to achieve the stabilization of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere. It further provides for the parameters of the timeframe in which this ultimate objective should be achieved, to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.
We all have to contribute to the solutions to climate change, it is true, but in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. We underscore that Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) need to be seen in a balanced and comprehensive context of the 2015 agreement, and therefore have to include and equally address mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology transfer, capacity building and transparency of action and support. Developing countries will also require provision of support for their domestic preparations for their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions.
The twenty-first century is the time for the countries and the peoples from the South to develop their economies and societies in order to fulfil human needs sustainably, in harmony with nature and respect for Mother Earth and its ecosystems.
The Earth and its ecosystems are our home and are and convinced that, in order to achieve a just balance among the economic, social and environmental needs of present and future generations, it is necessary to promote harmony with nature and the Earth.
We consider that mitigation of and adaptation to climate change are contingent upon different sociocultural contexts, taking particular account of indigenous peoples and local communities and their traditional knowledge systems and practices, including their holistic view of community and environment, as a major means, of adapting to climate change.
Sustainable development involves a change in the order of priorities from the generation of material wealth to the satisfaction of human needs in harmony with nature. The excessive orientation towards profit neither respects Mother Earth nor takes into account human needs. The continuation of this unequal system will lead to further inequality.
Vol. 47, No. 19, Nov 16 - 22, 2014