Paris, France – Today marks a historic day for the world, as 196 nations came together today to adopt the new Paris Climate Change Agreement.
Following two weeks of intensive talks to arrive at an agreement, island nations helped champion the language of the Paris Agreement.
The Marshal Islands efforts to increase the mitigation ambition level stood out at Paris COP21.
Palau’s Climate Change Ambassador Olai Uludong said “COP21 will be remembered as a small islands COP.”
“This agreement can be a platform for innovation and lead to the age of solar energy revolution,” she said.
In a historic development, the agreement includes the issue of loss and damage for the first time as a stand-alone element in a climate change COP agreement that recognizes the limits of adaptation. Another important development was the reference to keeping the long-term temperature goal to well below 1.5 °Celsius of which the global development goals and strategies will now revolve.
“A milestone has been achieved. “Many elements from the Suva Declaration-the main negotiating document for many of the Pacific Small Islands States have been reflected in the agreement,” said Mr. François Martel, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Development Forum.
Other important issues coming out from this climate summit include a fair finance and resource access mechanism.
“Also heartening is the references made to right to development, indigenous peoples rights, gender equity, human rights and principles of equity in the preambular parts of the decision,” said Mr. Martel.
Although the current mitigation commitments are not enough, we hope this deal will push countries to commit further to reducing temperature rise to 1.5° Celsius with a 5 year review cycle.”
At the closing plenary countries like EU and China agreed to deliver on this agreement. The Paris Agreement received unprecedented political support from all negotiating blocks including AOSIS and G77 and China.
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