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NEW PARIS TEXT MUST ‘OFFICIALLY’ INCLUDE LOSS AND DAMAGE

Paris, France – The Pacific Small Island Developing States (PSIDS) are seriously concerned about the issue of Loss and Damage as they await the new draft Paris Climate Agreement text to be tabled at COP21.
The Pacific region faces the challenge of losing 3 entire nations due to climate change – including the low-laying atoll islands of Tuvalu, Kiribati and Marshal Islands while Nauru and some of the smaller islands in Fiji also face displacement related to climate change.
“While many are relieved by the fact that a ‘bridging proposal’ was tabled on Thursday the fact that some developed countries have openly challenged this shows that they are not ready to discuss this in the ‘formal Paris text’,” says Mr. François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum.
The United States made proposals, which is not acceptable in its current status while the European Union is not putting any formal text for discussion.
Another blow is that the text on review of temperature target for a 1.5 degrees limit as a safer way to protect all communities, ended up getting blocked from being sent to ministers, primarily by the Arab Group with Saudi Arabia leading.
“This is climate injustice not only to Pacific-SIDS but also to Africa and other nationals facing losses and damages from both “extreme events” and “slow onset events,” added Mr. Martel.
The Suva Climate Change Declaration – key position document from PSIDS – clearly emphasizes that “the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement must provide in a balanced manner all the six elements identified in the Durban Mandate. Loss and damage must be included separately as the seventh element, and the Agreement must ensure a truly shared global vision for a sustainable future.”
“The new text must anchor loss and damage as a standalone element that is separate and distinct from adaptation in the 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement,” said Mr. Martel.
“Climate change is already resulting in forced displacement of island populations and the loss of land and territorial integrity. Such loss and damage results in breaches of social and economic rights,” he added.
Populations in Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru are already migrating due to effects of Climate change. This poses important immigration challenge for the countries and the neighboring countries including Australia and New Zealand whose position at COP21 are not exactly favorable towards the Pacific neighbors position.
Research shows that an estimated 200 million people might be displaced by 2050 due to climate change impacts worldwide. As of today there is no global agreement protecting the rights of these people. The Paris Agreement is no doubt the place to enshrine the rights of climate migrants.
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Note to media:
Mr. François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum is in Paris and is available for interviews or briefing in French and English.
Media Contact: Ashwini Prabha, ashwiniprabha@yahoo.com

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