Inaction Is Too Costly!
AOSIS has taken the unprecedented step of crafting a package of critical climate change initiatives to safeguard small island societies. The ‘SIDS Package,’ was presented this afternoon at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit. The Package is a set of cross-cutting initiatives and partnerships that spans the Summit’s nine action areas. Each initiative is SIDS-focused and SIDS-defined, and all are dynamic, scalable, replicable and transformative – and urgently needed to secure a sustainable future for our countries.
The SIDS Package underscores the longstanding commitment of island states to doing our part in bringing about the needed systemic transitions. We recognize that building resilience to climate change and committing to low-emission development pathways provide a firm basis for continued growth and sustainable development. So, the SIDS Package sends a clear signal of island States’ collective determination to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. It includes a commitment to new, updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) in 2020, comprehensive plans and strategies for low-greenhouse gas (GHG) emission development relevant to island contexts, and a collective commitment to pursue energy transformation and boost adaptive capacity. As an Alliance fuelled by partnerships and mindful of the capacity constraints of its membership, AOSIS has emphasized partnerships in this set of climate change actions.
While SIDS-focused, this set of actions is also globally significant. SIDS represent approximately one-third of all developing countries and close to a quarter of the membership of the UN, and stand on the frontlines of climate change. SIDS’ experience as “first responders” can help guide collective action at the global level. Through this SIDS Package, small island States are presenting an opportunity to leverage SIDS ambition to scale up global ambition and, through their actions, to demonstrate what the world can achieve and how it can be achieved.
Emblematically, the AOSIS initiative to foster resilience multidimensionally, through the piloting of replicable low-carbon, climate-resilient urbanization by 2030, and creating climate-smart resilient islands, will offer lessons for coastal conurbations around the world. More broadly, by aligning our package with global initiatives (namely, the Early Action Partnership, the DRR CCA Coherence Initiative, and the Coalition for Climate Resilient Investment) which aim to integrate climate and disaster risk considerations across sectors and at multiple levels, from disaster risk and adaptation planning to investment decision making, we can demonstrate through a SIDS proof-of-concept approach how more effective global solutions can be achieved.
The SIDS Package shows that island countries may be small but not insignificant, vulnerable but not powerless, and constrained but not uncommitted. Yet, we are mindful that action depends on partnerships, and encourage our long-standing partners to act.