The climate summit provides a golden opportunity to hear the voices of the world leaders and their stance on tackling the issue of climate change. However the summit needs to ensure the voices of the most vulnerable nations are not only heard but also acted upon.
Countries that are seen as more vulnerable to climate change are highlighting their concerns at the climate summit by challenging the likes of USA, UK and China to raise their targets and set a long term temperature goal of 1.5C compared to 2C.
The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) which consists of 44 countries along with other vulnerable nations claimed that the current 2C target would still result in massive devastation to millions of people particularly in countries such as Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines and Sudan.
Thoriq Ibrahim, the energy minister of the Maldives and chairman of AOSIS has suggested that current trends are showing we are on track for a 3C degree of warming which would be catastrophic to many members of AOSIS. He has highlighted that the climate talks need to incorporate ambition to get our nations back on track with achieving a target of under 2C.
“A long-term temperature goal of well below 1.5 degrees must be reflected in the Paris agreement, along with an indicative pathway for achieving it, including urgent peaking and deep mid-century emissions reductions,” said Ibrahim. (Source: The Guardian).
The leaders of the climate vulnerable forum (CVF) have also joined AOSIS in support of the 1.5C target. This gives a total of 105 out of 195 countries in favour of this proposed target. However CVF spokesman Saleemul Huq has suggested this summit lacks a certain level of democracy and ultimately will favour the more powerful nations which currently are not supporting this target.
From day one AOSIS along with support from other nations have quickly established their stance on current targets and the crucial importance of delivering a more ambitious target. It is now a matter of time to see whether the concerns of the vulnerable nations will affect the decision of powerful nations and potentially the overall outcome of the climate summit.