Countries facing fiercest climate impacts call on conscience of the wealthy world | WWF

Countries facing fiercest climate impacts call on conscience of the wealthy world



Posted on 10 November 2009
Houses of shrimp fishermen near Mogla, Sundarbans National Park, Bangladesh. Poverty is rife in the Sundarbans. These shrimp fishermen's houses are threatened by rising water levels due to climate change and the frequent storms that batter this area
© © David Woodfall / WWF-UK
Leaders of countries vulnerable to climate change have called for a redoubling of efforts to reach an ambitious outcome of the Climate Summit in Copenhagen in December and for world leaders to come to Copenhagen themselves.

The vulnerable countries are asking for immediate climate action in all countries and are committing themselves to green their economies as a contribution towards carbon neutrality.

The Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) in the Maldives brought together delegates from Kiribati, Bangladesh, Nepal, Vietnam, Kenya and other countries. They asked rich states to acknowledge their responsibility for climate change and provide at least 1.5 percent of their GDP annually by 2015 to assist developing countries in their transition to a low-carbon economy.

In a joint declaration after their meeting today, the forum expressed concern about downgrading of expectations for a positive outcome at the climate conference in Copenhagen.

“WWF shares the concerns expressed by these countries,” said Kim Carstensen, the head of WWF Global Climate Initiative. “Vulnerable developing countries have everything to lose from climate change, they are fighting for their future existence, and it is therefore very good to see them come out with a strong common voice.”

“We sincerely hope that their message will be heard by those countries that are actually responsible for climate change and who have the means to solve the climate crisis.”

“The world’s expectations for a climate treaty in Copenhagen are rising and leaders around the world need to understand that failure will come at a huge price.”

According to WWF, an ambitious climate treaty can still be achieved in Copenhagen despite most policy makers’ focus on what they cannot achieve rather than what they can do to prevent the worst consequences of climate change.

Governments at Copenhagen need to create a legally binding framework with an amended Kyoto Protocol and a new Copenhagen Protocol, which secures the survival of countries, cultures and ecosystems. They should also create a framework for immediate adaptation action, especially for vulnerable countries and ecosystems, including the provision of insurance and compensation.

“In Copenhagen, we need to listen to the voices of those who suffer from the consequences of global warming. That should already bring us on the right track,” Carstensen said.

Houses of shrimp fishermen near Mogla, Sundarbans National Park, Bangladesh. Poverty is rife in the Sundarbans. These shrimp fishermen's houses are threatened by rising water levels due to climate change and the frequent storms that batter this area
© © David Woodfall / WWF-UK Enlarge