Seychelles testifies in climate forum at US Congress
Seychelles’ climate change and SIDS ambassador Ronny Jumeau testified on Thursday at a forum on climate change at the United States Congress in the US capital, Washington DC.
The ambassador afterwards joined the chair of the forum, Congressman Paul Tonko of New York, and other members of Congress in a press conference.
The forum, entitled “Global Solutions to Climate Change”, was organised by Democrat members of the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce, and the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC).
The aim was to allow representatives of foreign governments to explain the unique challenges faced by their countries, the adaptation and mitigation efforts they were undertaking, and their expectations for the Paris Climate Summit (COP21) in December.
Amb Jumeau stressed that while SIDS like Seychelles where least responsible for climate change but most vulnerable to it, they were setting an example for major emitters through ambitious programmes to switch to renewable energy and submitting their own climate pledges, known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), to the Paris conference.
Seychelles had taken its own initiative to source innovative financing for sustainable development and to tackle climate change through a first-of-its-kind US$30-million debt-for-adaptation swap with the Paris Club and South Africa.
SIDS, known as the moral conscience of the climate negotiations, were also holding the talks to a high bar by calling for, among others, the most ambitious action and targets in cutting greenhouse gas emissionsand providing climate finance and calling for “loss and damage” to be enshrined in the universal and legally-binding global agreement being negotiated.
Ambassador Jumeau was formally invited to testify before the forum by Congressman Tonko after initially being contacted by Oxfam America, one of the 17 members of the international Oxfam confederation working in more than 90 countries.
Other speakers at the two-hour event were ambassadors from Rwanda and the Netherlands, a representative of the French embassy in Washington, and a professor from Stanford University in California.
Amb Jumeau was the only one to take part in the press conference afterwards.