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COP21 – UN SPECIAL ENVOY H.E. MARY ROBINSON REAFIRMS SUVA DECLARATION GOAL OF 1.5°C

Paris, France – More than 10 countries pledged a replenishment of $248 million dollars to the LCD Fund for climate adaptation of the most vulnerable countries, and a part of this funding will be allocated to Pacific Island countries. This was announced at the GEF Side-event on the Least Developed Countries Fund and Climate project lessons learned held at the opening of COP21 in Paris.

The panel was co-chaired by UN Special envoy on Climate Change H.E. Mary Robinson, who delivered one of the key note address at the 3rd PIDF Summit last September in Suva, Fiji. The special envoy focused her interventions on the main success of the fund as well as the bold initiatives and INDCs taken by Least Developed Countries as a clear indication of serious engagement by the countries that are not responsible for the climate change impacts, although they are the most affected by it.

H.E. Robinson concluded the panel session by emphasizing that “this LCD Fund replenishment should not be considered as additional development aid for these countries most vulnerable to climate change – but as climate justice – fair compensation for them to adapt to climate change – a problem they didn’t create, yet, creating havoc in African countries and in some small islands, threatening their survival.”

“That’s why the final objective for reduction in emissions should be to aim at 1.5°C, not 2°C…” and she repeated again the plea of the Pacific Islands embedded in the Suva Declaration…”. I insist we need to aim for 1.5°C… I repeat 1.5°C”.
Mr. François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum, congratulated the UN Envoy for her bold statement in reminding the world of the importance of aiming for a lower increase no more than 1.5°C – an objective that seems nearly impossible at the current stage of the Paris negotiations.

Donor countries emphasized the critical nature of adaptation, and the need to eliminate threats to development already achieved by LDCs – many raised the importance of green economy principles and planning for adaptation actions.
Sweden, who pledged $11 million to the GEF fund, advocated strongly for support to women and gender related adaptation measures.

“The support to women and gender related adaptation is in line with the ‘Suva climate change declaration’ endorsed by all Pacific leaders. The declaration demands, “support to enable the greater involvement of community, civil society (including women, youth and persons with disabilities) and the private sector, in our climate change responses and initiatives.”

The GEF side-event included a Panel of ambassadors and high-level delegates mainly from Africa: Benin, Sudan, the Comoros and Angola on behalf of LDCs. It was chaired by Naoko Ishii, the GEF-CEO.

Note to media:
Mr. François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum is in Paris for the two weeks of COP21 and is available for interviews or briefing about the Pacific Islands position on various topics.
Language skills:- French and English

Media Contact: Ashwini Prabha, ashwiniprabha@yahoo.com

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