AOSIS calls for a roadmap to protect vulnerable communities at COP13

2007-12-03 AOSIS Download PDF

Topic: Climate

Thank you Mr. President,
I have the honour and pleasure to speak today on behalf of the
Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS).
It has been said that for the island peoples the oceans do not
divide us, in fact they unite us.
We are pleased to be here in Bali and to experience the
hospitality and kindness of fellow islanders. We are grateful to
the Government and People of Indonesia and Bali for the warm
Mr. President, for AOSIS climate change is one of the critical
issues that confront us as we endeavour to develop our countries
on a sustainable basis. It has been well documented by the IPCC
and others that our countries are amongst the most vulnerable to
the impacts of climate change and that our low adaptive capacity
seriously constrains our ability to respond to these threats.
In this context Mr. President participation in this process and the
outcomes from Bali is not an option. For us it is a matter of
• the survival of the 41 million people who live in the Small
Island Developing States
• the survival in some cases of the very countries in which
some us live and
• the possible disappearance of rich and vibrant cultures as a
consequence of climate change.
This threat to our survival leaves us with no option but to insist
that every effort must be made to reduce emissions from
greenhouse gases as quickly as possible.
Some Parties have proposed stabilizing temperatures at 2
degrees above pre-industrial levels.
Mr. President this is something that we cannot agree with.
• 2 degrees means that we will loose many of our critical
• 2 degrees means that many of our coastal communities
will be flooded and inundated.
• 2 degrees means stronger tropical storms and cyclones,
reduced water supply and decreased food security.
It therefore means that the first priority of this conference here
in Bali is to agree on a shared vision. That vision means that we
must strive to limit temperature increases far below 2 degrees
In fact the avoidance of adverse impacts on SIDS should be the
benchmark against which all the negotiations of the Bali
Roadmap should be conducted.
This will require participation of all Parties to the Convention in
keeping with their respective capacities and the principle of
common but differentiated responsibilities.
This may not be sufficient, as the scientists have told us that we
are already committed to a degree of climate change even if
GHG emissions were stabilized today. Therefore Mr. President
it will also be necessary that this process
• provides us the means to cope with the impacts of climate
• provides us with the capacity building to enable us
understand the impacts on our communities and develop
• provides us with early warning systems to enable us to
deal with the threats from tropical storms and cyclones,
• provides us with the technologies to develop appropriate
adaptation responses, and
• provides us with sufficient, secure and predictable
financial flows to enable us to implement these critical
response activities.
It is disappointing and frustrating that these are the very issues
on which we have not seen satisfactory progress within the
Convention process, and we are concerned that progress at this
meeting is also not satisfactory.
Mr. President, the problem for us is not technical, it is a human
problem. It is a problem of people being faced with the threat of
losing their livelihoods, a problem of people being faced with
the threat of becoming refugees from communities where they
have lived for centuries if not millennia.
Mr. President this is a global problem that requires a global
solution. No small group of countries can determine the
solution. No appropriate solution can be developed without the
participation of vulnerable countries like ourselves who are
bearing the brunt of the climate change impacts.
We therefore strongly believe that the process must be within the UN system,
and that the Bali Roadmap becomes the unifying force for all
efforts to respond to climate change within the international
I can assure you that AOSIS will do its utmost to support your
efforts in developing a process that is equitable, fair and
transparent and will provide an opportunity for the needs of all
countries, no matter how small, to receive due consideration and
to be addressed.
We sincerely hope that we will leave here with a Roadmap that
will protect vulnerable communities, resolute in the conviction
that no island shall be left behind.
I thank you Mr. President.

Sub Topic: Cross-cutting


Meeting: COP13