Vulnerable countries unite ahead of COP17

By RTCC Staff

Flooding in Haiti

Flooding in Haiti (Source: UN)

Nineteen of the world’s most climate vulnerable countries signed the ‘Dhaka Declaration of the Climate Vulnerable Forum’, calling for a climate deal to follow the Kyoto Protocol.

Supported by the Development Assistance Research Associates (DARA) the Climate Vulnerable Forum – a two day ministerial meeting held in Bangladesh – brought together countries such as Afghanistan, the Maldives and Nepal who are already feeling the effects of climate change – through rising sea levels, flooding and more frequent droughts.

The declaration called on states attending Durban to ensure a second Kyoto commitment is ready when the first deal period ends in 2012. In particular it requests a legally binding treaty which fully attains the “the objective of the UNFCCC.”

The signatories also urged developed countries to accept their “historical responsibility” for climate change and their pledge to help communities to reduce their vulnerability.

The declaration highlighted the vulnerable countries commitment to adaptation and their “resolve to demonstrate moral leadership” through low carbon development, calling for a new global Climate Vulnerability Monitor on low-carbon development.

The current Climate Vulnerability Monitor, put together by DARA, aims to assess how defenceless different regions across the world are to effects of climate change.

Sheik Hasina, Prime Minister of the Democratic Republic of Bangladesh addressed the delegates saying: “Climate change caused over 300,000 additional deaths last year. We the vulnerable countries suffer the most for our limited coping capacities. Bangladesh and other vulnerable countries could not wait for international response to climate causes. We are implementing 134 climate change adaptation and mitigation action plans.”

In order to apply their adaptation and mitigation measures, the declaration called for early establishment of the Green Climate Fund – to be operational by 2013 at the latest – with priority given to the most vulnerable communities. Developed countries should make firm commitments, reaching $100 billion per year, according to the declaration.

The declaration also said vulnerable countries will need support from the international community with technology transfer and called for resources for the Climate Technology Centre and Networks included in the Cancun Agreements to be prioritised and for the Clean Development Mechanism to be scaled up.

This call comes amid increasingly bleak outlooks for the Climate Summit taking place in less than two weeks time.

Both in the UK and the EU doubts have been raised over whether a deal can be made, while countries such as Russia, Japan and Canada have spoke out against a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol.

All of the countries present at the Climate Vulnerable Forum have been affected by climate change whether from sea-level rise, flooding to droughts.

And while these countries met in Dhaka, in Kampala the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are meeting to finalise their latest report on the links between climate change and extreme weather.

A draft summary of the report, leaked to Associated Press earlier this month, found a 2 in 3 chance that weather events have and will continue to be affected by climate change – the result more floods, heat waves, droughts and greater costs as a result.

By the end of the century, the intense, single-day rainstorms which typically occur every 20 years could happen twice a decade, according to the report.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, droughts will happen more often too, according to the report, and heat waves could peak as much as 5 degrees hotter by mid-century and even 9 degrees hotter by the end of the century.

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