Island Nations’ Loss and Damages Worsens Without Faster Emission Cuts This Decade

2022-04-04 Download PDF

Topic: Climate


IPCC Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) 2022

Working Group III Report: Mitigation of Climate Change

Island Nations’ Loss and Damages Worsens Without Faster Emission Cuts This Decade

Embargoed until April 4, 15:00 hrs GMT

New York – 04 April 2022 – The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report on the Mitigation of Climate Change makes it clear that it is scientifically possible to limit warming to 1.5°C — and speaks of opportunities to enhance people’s livelihoods, provide jobs, provide access to cheap, clean energy, and ensure energy security for all. But it further warns that the current global efforts towards reducing emissions are grossly inadequate and mean catastrophic consequences, especially for small island developing states (SIDS).

“The science says it is possible to limit warming to 1.5°C, but the current global efforts are insufficient to get us there. This collective failure to act at the scale and speed necessary to combat the climate crisis is irresponsible and immoral. We need to be clear — SIDS and other vulnerable countries are already experiencing climate change impacts that are debilitating our fragile economies at just 1.1°C of warming. But beyond 1.5°C — climate change becomes an existential threat to our livelihoods and communities.

We are not the ones fuelling this disaster — the major emitters are. We need major emitters — particularly the G20 — to respond to this worsening crisis with the urgency it demands. And not just increased targets on paper and new empty pledges — but real emission reductions in this decade, halving emissions by-2030 — and then achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 at the latest.

Fossil fuel dependency is killing our planet. AOSIS once again urges the G20 to phase out all fossil fuel subsidies by 2023 and immediately divest from emission intensive industries channeling all investment towards low to no-greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development — this is a pathway to operationalising Article 2.1(c) of the Paris Agreement.” said AOSIS Chair, H.E. Ambassador Walton Webson.

“This report states that nationally led technological transitions to renewable energy and policies are pivotal in reducing emissions. SIDS are already initiating these endeavours through our nationally determined contributions (NDCs). While all efforts to reduce emissions are critical, due to our size and low emissions, our individual efforts are not enough to keep warming to 1.5°C. Major emitters need to radically step up their efforts.

We all have a role to play in this transition, and SIDS have, and will continue to do our part. But we are facing socio-economic barriers as well as transition and political risks inclusive of the high landed costs of needed technology. These barriers and risks inhibit our ability to mitigate, adapt as well as respond to climate change and its negative impacts. It is therefore imperative that financing, technology transfer, and capacity building are scaled up — so that SIDS can also reap the benefits of this transformation to a low-emission, climate-resilient world,” said AOSIS’ lead climate negotiator H.E. Ambassador Conrod Hunte.

The IPCC’s WGII report clearly states that loss and damage is happening now and will continue despite mitigation and adaptation efforts. Loss and damage will only get worse as warming climbs. Developed countries need to acknowledge that loss and damage is real and requires additional financing, separate to that provided to adaptation and mitigation. There needs to be significant support and finance provided to address loss and damage now and in the future. In addition, the scale of the financing is not sufficient for mitigation or adaptation.

AOSIS reiterates our call for developed countries to come to COP27 in Sharm El-Sheik with a clear standalone plan on how they will deliver on the commitment to at least double adaptation finance by 2025 and ensure that SIDS are prioritized in that scaling-up of finance. These issues of scale and balance must be bridged with both traditional and innovative financial instruments and arrangements, including the ones that create fiscal space for SIDS such as debt-for-climate swaps and issuance/reallocation of special drawing rights.

Finally, on access to finance – the Paris Agreement clearly calls for the provision of scaled-up financial resources that take into account the needs and priorities of SIDS. There needs to be more targeted allocations of finance for also needs to be acknowledgement of both urgency and our reduced capacities. This is especially the case when a hurricane hits, and we need to be able to start rebuilding within days, not months or even years. The nature of this finance is also an issue, the impacts of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic combined have created a debt crisis for many of our island States. Our capacity to borrow is constrained – and further incurring debt becomes fraught. So, we need to see increased grant and concessional funding for climate action” said AOSIS Chair and Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda Hon. Gaston Browne.


Sub Topic: Mitigation

Forum: None