“My plea is for all multilateral and international financial organisations under the control of the west to change their financing mechanisms to allow all island states to have access to concessionary funding”- President Wavel Ramkalawan
COP28, 2nd December 2023, Dubai UAE: On the margins of the 28th Session of the United Nations Conference of Parties, currently taking place in Dubai, President WavelRamkalawan delivered a statement as part of the G77 and China Leaders’ Summit, General Debate segment.
The G77 plus China Summit in Dubai presented a platform for the G77 plus China member states to discuss the pertinent climate action agenda acknowledging the seriousness of the climate change crisis especially for developing countries.
During his intervention, President Ramkalawan expressed appreciation to the Government of Cuba as a fellow island nation and Chair of Group for convening that timely and important summit whilst recognizing that COP28 is a moment for both Accountability and Action.
“We, as Leaders, must be prepared to make bold commitments and crucial decisions for the protection of our planet. The benchmarks for a strong outcome at this COP largely center on the engagement taken by everyone in keeping the promises that are made. In the Global stocktake, countries must demonstrate how they are delivering on their past pledges and showcase their stronger national climate plans for the years to come.
The time for rhetoric and posturing is over. For this COP28 to be a success, governments and others must be prepared to take definitive actions that benefit people, nature, and the climate.”
He acknowledged that despite the lack of action to meet the goals set out in the COP21 Paris Agreement, some important progress had been made such as the recent operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund. However, he also reminded the summit that globally, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. He stressed on the need for the world to change course and transition to a low-carbon global economy in the building of a more resilient planet.
“Seychelles acknowledges that the Paris Agreement has spurred unprecedented global climate action since it entered into force. We have benefitted from the universal submission and enhancement of our NDC. Although a drastic and an uneven increase in adaptation, planning and implementation, as well as the mobilization of Climate finance this has began to spur mitigation actions and reach frontline coastal communities enduring the increasing impacts of climate change. Nevertheless, we know that our efforts at international cooperation in support of climate action are insufficient, and so is the finance” said President Ramkalawan.
President Ramkalawan reiterated the urgent call to increase access to concessionary funding by vulnerable countries like Seychelles required in order to achieve targets in its NDCs. “Developed countries must fulfill their promises and provide necessary financing to vulnerable countries. I call on my fellow SIDS to come together as one in addressing access to concessionary funding. Islands, whether labeled high-income or low-income suffer the same fate. We are in the middle of the ocean, we cannot drive next door to get our commodities, meaning that with all world calamities we are the first to be hit. The rising cost of fuel translated into exorbitant sea transportation costs means that we are the most vulnerable to suffer the increase in cost of commodities and therefore the cost of living for our people. Ocean events that happen miles from our shores eventually reach our coastlines and cause much destruction, including to the very livelihood of our people.
My plea is for all multilateral and international financial organisations under the control of the west to change their financing mechanisms to allow islands to have access to such funding. Now that the Loss and Damage Fund has been operationalized, may all island states have access to this environment fund. Seychelles, as a member of the G77 plus China stands committed as a partner in defending the resolutions of our organization. Together we will strive to protect our planet and keep the 1.5-degree Celsius aspiration alive” said President Ramkalawan.
The Group of 77 (G77) plus China was established on 15 June 1964 by seventy-seven developing countries signing the “Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Developing Countries” issued at the end of the first session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) in Geneva.