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MOMENTUM ON NEW PARIS AGREEMENT

Paris, France – The Pacific Island Development Forum (PIDF) welcomes the latest draft Paris text and the ‘High Level Ambition’ group lead by Marshal Islands government to boost ambition during COP21.
The concern remains over the issue of loss and damage where the language is being watered down by some developed countries.
“We are ready to work on the language that suits majority but to hold ‘liability and compensation’ hostage is like giving us a life raft without any air inside,” said Peter Emberson, Director for Climate Change, Fiji Islands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
PIDF member countries remain strong on their position regarding loss and damage as highlighted in the Suva declaration while remaining open to choosing language that can forge an agreement in Paris.
“While some of the demands of the Pacific countries as in the Suva Declarations have been captured in the latest draft of the Paris text, there are a number of things in the declaration which are not visible.”
“There is no strong wording in the current text on coal mining. And while the text mention limiting temperature increases to 1.5°C, it is not strong enough on de-carbonization. We hope this will change by tomorrow.”
Mr. Martel said, “By tomorrow we will see if the High Level Ambition Group has an impact on strengthening the draft text, rather than countries going back to old negotiating positions.
We welcome this group’s input at this crucial hours to finalise the Paris Agreement.”
The group includes the US, alongside the EU and a raft of developing and climate vulnerable states, including the Marshall Islands, Mexico, Colombia and Gambia. In the latest Press Conference of the High Ambition Group many new countries joined the coalition overnight, and this includes among the Pacific SIDS, the Federated States of Micronesia and Fiji. Brazil, unexpectedly, made a statement joining the group – that was cheered by the crowd. Brazil is an emerging country of the BRICS group of countries. However, China, India, South Africa and a host of other emerging economies are notably absent from the High Ambition Group.
Both Germany and Norway repeated strong ambitious statements including continued financial support until 2030 to avoid deforestation.
Marshall Islands Minister for Foreign Affairs Tony de Brum who is the chair of this group said the coalition would “not accept” a “minimalist agreement” and would demand that any final deal includes a mechanism for increasing ambition over time, a recognition of the proposed 1.5°C temperature goal, a clear pathway for a low carbon future, a five year review process, and a climate finance package.

THE END

Note to media:
Mr. François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development.
Language skills: French and English.
Media Contact: Ashwini Prabha, ashwiniprabha@yahoo.com

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