Implementing Mission 1.5: Opening Remarks for Opening Segment Copenhagen Climate Ministerial

March 21, 2024 AOSIS Chair, Minister Toeolesulusulu Cedric Schuster, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, Samoa Download PDF

Topic: Climate

Opening Remarks for Opening Segment
Copenhagen Climate Ministerial

21 – 22 March 2024

I am pleased to make this statement on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island Developing

• At the outset let me thank our host Denmark for facilitating such a useful setting for Climate
Ministers to build our collective understanding on the outcomes from last year and set the
foundation to take us through this year of negotiations. I wish to express our sincere gratitude
for the hospitality shown to me and my delegation.

• Allow me also to acknowledge the COP 28 Presidency for the successful completion of COP
28 in Dubai and the endorsement of the UAE Consensus.

• I also recognize the presence of the incoming COP presidency from Azerbaijan. AOSIS
looks forward to working with you through this year and at COP 29 in Baku for strong and
bold outcomes.

• We welcome the work of the troika to implement mission 1.5. From an AOSIS perspective
the Troika must help us to make progress this year to raise ambition on all fronts. While
enabling implementation.

• The issues that will be covered at this meeting are the keys to driving success in keeping
global temperatures below 1.5 Celsius in this decade. As I’m sure you know by now, meeting
the 1.5 Celsius goal is a matter of survival for small island developing States, but we can’t
get there on our own. We will only succeed if we make progress on each of these issues
through a global effort with each one of us committed to ambitious action.

• While we will go into more detail during our discussion of each of the issues on our agenda, I
would like to highlight the priorities for AOSIS resulting from the COP 28 outcomes as well
as provide you with our understanding of where we need to focus our action collectively
going forward.

• On mitigation ambition, we must focus on the outcomes of the first global stocktake (GST) at
COP 28. The GST acknowledged that although some progress has been made, the implementation of the current nationally-determined contributions (NDCs) will not put us on
a pathway to limit emissions to a one point five degree temperature rise.

• Primarily, this will require all countries to remain faithful to their commitments to submit
updates to their 2030 targets as well as NDCs with 2035 targets that are economy-wide,
covering all greenhouse gases, sectors, and categories, aligned with the one point five degree
target, and their net zero targets; by the agreed deadline. In other words, in early 2025, 9-12
months before COP 30, at the latest.

• Regardless of our ambition to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, there are enough
greenhouse gases baked into the system for the impacts of human-induced climate change to
continue causing severe impacts in vulnerable countries like mine. In this vein, we applaud
the agreement in Dubai to operationalise the new dedicated fund for responding to loss and
damage, thanks in large part to the dedication of the UAE presidency.

• We welcome the initial pledges that were made to the fund to support particularly vulnerable
countries to address the consequences of climate change. However, we must recognize that
much more financing must be mobilized to ensure this fund can be effective and consistent
with its mandate. AOSIS urges countries to continue the critical work toward
operationalizing this fund, including helping to expedite the critical work of the fund’s Board
this year.

• Excellencies and Colleagues, before we reach the stage where we experience loss and
damage from the impacts of climate change, advancing the scale and impact of adaptation
efforts in small islands remains a crucial and urgent priority. The groundbreaking UAE
Framework for Global Climate Resilience agreed in Dubai establishes the groundwork for
meeting the Paris Agreement’s global goal on adaptation – scaling up adaptation action and
the flow of adaptation finance by setting ambitious and achievable high-level targets that will
enable countries to transform towards a clean and resilient future.

• To meet these targets, we must fulfill and go beyond the pledge to double climate adaptation
finance from 2019 levels by 2025. This represents the floor of what should be provided for
adaptation finance. We urge developed countries to make good on this promise and go
beyond it in line with the needs of those particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate

• And this leads me to the broader topic of climate finance and allows me to shift my focus
toward COP 29 and beyond. 2024 provides the international community with the opportunity
to determine one of the most consequential catalysts for achieving the Paris Agreement’s
goals – the setting of the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance (‘NCQG’).

• As SIDS we continue to highlight that climate finance is distinct and therefore additional
to current and future development finance. Climate change has been recognised as a
compounded challenge to the world on top of all of its existing baseline development issues.
It is therefore logical that climate finance is added to requiste development and humanitarian
finance. Double counting and repurposing of such finance is not only intellectually
dishonest but is simply unjust.

• In closing, I would once again like to thank our hosts for their hospitality, and our COP 28
Presidency team and the incoming COP 29 team for their continued hard work. Excellencies
and colleagues, please be assured that on behalf of AOSIS, I will be actively engaging with
all of you, not only to unpack the outcomes of COP 28 and better understand what it will take
to meet the commitments we made, but also to help set us on a path to ensuring that these
outcomes are implemented. The survival of our people on small island developing States
depends on it.

• I thank you.

Sub Topic: Mitigation


Meeting: COP27