Guest essay by Eric Worrall
Maldives Environment Minister Thoriq Ibrahim has warned that unless the Maldives gets its climate cash before 2020, the 1.5C global warming limit will be breached.
We need bold action before 2020 to hold global warming below 1.5C
Published on 26/04/2018, 9:00am
If rich countries fail to live up to their promises over the next two years, they condemn small islands to catastrophic warming impacts, says Maldives minister
By Thoriq Ibrahim
A recent report found that unless bold climate action is taken in the next couple of years – before 2020 – it may become impossible to hold global warming below 1.5C.
This could prove catastrophic for small island developing states like mine that have already witnessed severe climate change impacts at just the 1C of warming the world has already experienced, including the devastating hurricane season that struck the Caribbean last year.
Next week international climate change negotiators will gather in Bonn, Germany for the first in-person meeting of the “Talanoa Dialogue”, the new UN process designed to track international efforts to implement the Paris Agreement.
Since the beginning of the UN climate change negotiations and through the Paris Agreement, it has always been understood that developed countries would take the lead in transitioning to low-carbon energy sources because they are responsible for the vast majority of historic emissions.
Time and again they also agreed to provide financial support for developing countries to build their own renewable energy systems.
It has also long been recognised, and is explicitly laid out in the Paris Agreement, that pre-2020 action lays the foundation for a global transition to sustainable energy and, importantly, builds trust among all parties that we will all live up to our commitments in the future.
But many developed countries’ pre-2020 obligations remain unmet and now some seem eager to forego early action altogether.
This call for climate cash echoes a similar demand from African nations a few weeks ago.
I’m not sure how the Maldives reconciles their climate concerns with all their fly-in tourism and their aggressive airport and resort building programmes, but no doubt some of that climate cash will help with the reconciliation if it ever arrives.