Press release

Seychelles reiterates call to protect the most vulnerable on conclusion of Lima Climate Change Conference

December 17, 2014

The Seychelles delegation led by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jean-Paul Adam, which attended the Lima conference on climate change, has associated itself with the outcome of the conference while reiterating a plea that the concerns of the most vulnerable be given more prominence as the negotiations continue on the road to a new climate agreement in Paris in December 2015.

“As members of the United Nations, we understand that multilateral conventions are complex negotiations involving promises and exchanges,” the Minister stated following the conclusion of the 20th meeting of the Conference of Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Peru.

“But this is not just about a text that will bind nations.  It is about the health of our planet and the future we wish to bequeath on our children.  We reiterate our call for mechanisms that protect the most vulnerable – SIDS, LDCs and Africa.  It is in fact by protecting the most vulnerable that we will also provide protection for everyone,” he added.

“The Lima Call for Climate Action, as it is called, is not just a pit-stop on the way to the final agreement in Paris.  We needed to have real outcomes to be able to make a difference.  Of special importance to islands, we have made progress on Workstream 2, whereby action can be taken relatively fast in the short to medium term rather than waiting for the Paris agreement to come into effect in 2020 as envisaged,” Ronny, Jumeau, Seychelles’ Ambassador for Climate Change and SIDS Issues, reflected on the conclusion of the talks which were scheduled to end Friday but continued well into Sunday.

“But we must all be concerned that we are as yet far from being on track in relation to reducing global emissions to a level that will save the most vulnerable countries and communities, and to providing the financing which will be needed to tackle climate change up to and beyond 2020.”

“The Lima process has given us a platform that we still hope can, with a lot of hard work, lead to a positive outcome for the Paris Conference in 2015.  But the discussions in Lima have shown that we must show much more ambition.  We must underline that the window for action is short and that our current targets are inadequate, the Minister emphasized.

“Seychelles reiterates the position of AOSIS, the Alliance of Small Island States, calling for a real increase in temperature of not more than 1.5 degrees centigrade.  Under current levels of ambition, we are still currently on course for increases above 2 degrees.”

The Seychelles delegation undertook high level discussions in Lima both with the current presidency represented by H.E Mr. Manuel Poulgar-Vidal, Minister of Environment of Peru, and the 2015 presidency represented by H.E Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, regarding the key concerns of Small Island Developing States.

The fundamental need to recognize the vulnerabilities of SIDS was at the heart of the discussions and especially with regards to finding an ambitious, robust, sustainable, fair and legally binding agreement in Paris which meets the needs of those most vulnerable to climate change.

The delegation also championed the AOSIS proposals to give importance to Workstream 2, whereby countries are able to learn from best practices and quickly implement new technologies that have an impact in reducing emissions.

The delegation also emphasized the importance of addressing ‘loss and damage’ in the final Paris agreement as many SIDS were already faced with some of the irreversible consequences of climate change including increasingly extreme weather events like the super typhoon that slammed into the Philippines as the negotiations were going on in Lima, ocean acidification and coastal erosion

“Negotiations in Lima were not only about reversing the negative trend on emissions or on climate change.  It was also about empowering developing countries to build a more sustainable future.  The Blue Economy is one such opportunity whereby developing nations in particular can create economic growth in symbiosis with the eco-system,” Minister Adam remarked in the same week where Seychelles organized its first national stakeholders forum on the Blue Economy.

The Seychelles delegation also welcomed news in Lima that the Green Climate Fund (GCF) has been capitalized beyond its initial target of 10 billion USD, but highlighted the need to maintain momentum in this push to mobilize resources as long term financing remains a serious concern.

“Building climate resilience in islands in particular requires more resources targeted to the most vulnerable populations in the most vulnerable countries.  We have to ensure that the climate change challenge is one which we collectively rise up to meet,” Ambassador Jumeau noted.

The Seychelles delegation in Lima consisted of Minister Jean-Paul Adam as head of the delegation and he was accompanied by Ambassador Ronny Jumeau, Mr. Wills Agricole, Seychelles’ national focal point for the UNFCCC, Mr. Tony Imadua, the CEO of the Seychelles Energy Commission, Mr. Vincent Amelie, Chief Meteorological Officer, and Mr. Ricardo Aguirre, Seychelles’ Honorary Consul in Lima.