Energy & Environment

Vulnerable nations call for climate ’emergency pact’ at Glasgow summit

Representatives of vulnerable nations and communities called for a climate “emergency pact” at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

At the Tuesday session, representatives of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) called for a series of steps from major emitters and developed nations to increase climate resilience.

The coalition’s 48 member states have a collective population of 1.2 billion people, about 15 percent of the global population, but are only responsible for approximately 5 percent of total emissions. Its membership includes 20 African and Middle Eastern nations, 19 Asian and Pacific nations and nine Latin American and Caribbean nations.

Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, chair of the CVF, noted that her country has been referred to as “ground zero” for the effects of climate change, saying that “despite our vulnerabilities and resource constraints, we have adopted exemplary initiatives to tackle climate change.”

In a statement on behalf of the CVF, Hasina called on major greenhouse gas emitters to submit and implement “ambitious” nationally determined contributions to emissions reduction. The CVF also called for developed nations to meet their climate finance commitments of putting $100 billion toward the climate crisis, divided equally between mitigation and adaptation efforts.

The CVF also called on those developed nations to equitably distribute sustainability and renewable energy technology, keeping in mind balance with those countries’ development needs. Lastly, the nations said any pact should address existing climate-related damages, including the migrants and refugees created by environmental displacement.

United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres, in his own remarks, said the allocation of climate finance must do a better job of improving resilience and adaptation for those most vulnerable to climate change’s impacts.

“Currently, just a quarter of climate finance flows towards adaptation — a mere $20.1 billion dollars,” Guterres said. “It is estimated that the adaptation costs to developing countries could rise to as much as $300 billion dollars a year by 2030.”

Numerous attendees at the summit have highlighted disparities between participating nations’ commitments to alleviating climate change. Barbadian Prime Minister Mia Mottley highlighted the issue in remarks at the summit’s opening ceremony Monday.

“[W]hat must we say to our people living on the frontlines in the Caribbean, in Africa, in Latin America, in the Pacific, when both ambition and regrettably, some of the needed faces at Glasgow, are not present?” Mottley asked.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is not set to attend the summit, even as China leads the world in emissions, nor is Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tags Antonio Guterres Climate change Climate change policy climate resilience COP26 Glasgow mia mottley Sheikh Hasina UN Climate Summit United Nations climate summit Vladimir Putin

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