Sir Molwyn Joseph readies colleagues for collective action at COP27

2022-11-14 Antigua and Barbuda Minister of Environment – Sir Molwyn Joseph Download PDF

Topic: Climate

Statement by the Hon. Sir Molwyn Joseph, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) at the high-level ministerial round table on pre-2030 ambition

14th November, 2022

Good morning excellencies.

I have the honour to speak on behalf of the Alliance of Small Island States.

Thank you to the presenters for clearly showing the state of the climate crisis. AOSIS has long sounded the alarm, yet we still seem to be heading off the precipice at a speed that will result in unimaginable loss and damage for our countries.

Major emitters, especially developed countries, have not even promised to do enough – showcased through the inadequate ambition in national climate plans. The Paris Agreement’s ratchet mechanism is working – just not fast enough.

Under current policies, end-of-century warming is projected to reach 2.7°C. Do you understand what this means for my fellow islanders?

Colleagues, to safeguard humanity, countries must: peak emissions immediately, and halve them by 2030 to keep 1.5 with no overshoot within reach. Incremental change is no longer an option – we need broad-based economy-wide transformations across all sectors.

Last year we acknowledged our lack of progress and established a work programme to support closing the ambition and implementation gaps in this critical decade. Deep emission cuts are required. The science in clear – we cannot “rob Peter to pay Paul”. This reality, however, is scary.

In the face of the energy crisis, we have seen an uptake of coal, and natural gas being touted as a transition fuel – right in THE window of our 1.5 carbon budget. Make no mistake this will result in stranded assets.

Colleagues, we are currently robbing future generations of their right to a safe world to pay the fossil fuel industry trillions in profit.

In this annual round table, Ministers need to see a report of the mitigation work programme’s technical discussions including key findings, recommendations and options, so we can consider them and take collective action to respond to the greatest challenge of our time. This includes SIDS-specific solutions so we are not left behind in the transition to the renewable energy economy. We need support and should be treated as “low hanging” fruit.

While the global energy system is broken, the renewable energy revolution has begun and we need to double down on those investments – it is the only way to a sustainable future. It is truly our only lifeline.

We are against the clock, but we have options and we have this decade to act. The longer we wait, the more loss and damage we will need to respond to.

Thank you.

Sub Topic: Loss & Damage


Meeting: COP27