Friday, November 20, 2009

Nations Most Vulnerable to Climate Change join together @ Maldives meeting

On November 9th and 10th some of the countries most vulnerable to climate change met on Baldos Island in the Maldives for the very first meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum. The event was coordinated with the hope that it would inform and educate the global donor community, thereby catalyzing the financial resources they need.

Nations who had been invited to the Forum: Bangladesh, Barbados, Costa Rica, East Timor, Ethiopia, Ghana, Grenada, Guyana, Kenya, Kiribati, Lesotho, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Vanuatu, and Vietnam. President Anote Tong of Kiribati attended; most nations sent their foreign or environment ministers.

Nations who attended as observers include: China, Denmark, France, Japan, the Netherlands, Russia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives opened the Forum on November 9th with the following address.

In this speech, he invited the ministers and leaders present in the room to join him in signing a pact for the survival of their countries, instead of a "suicide pact" in Copenhagen at COP15.

The declaration, which will be presented at COP15, calls on "all other countries to follow the moral leadership shown by the Republic of Maldives by voluntarily committing to achieving carbon-neutrality..."

Their declaration states that because "significant adverse changes in the global climate are now inevitable and are already taking place," the COP15 outcome document must include, "an ambitious agreement on adaptation finance which should prioritise the needs of the most vulnerable countries, especially in the near-term..."

The vulnerable countries are asking developed countries "to provide public money amounting to at least 1.5 percent of their gross domestic product, in addition to innovative sources of finance, annually by 2015 to assist developing countries make their transition to a climate resilient low-carbon economy."

"This grant-based finance must be predictable, sustainable, transparent, new and additional – on top of developed country commitments to deliver 0.7 percent of their Gross National Income as Overseas Development Assistance," the declaration states.

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