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Negotiator for Alliance of Small Island States Says G20 Countries Needs to Take Action Against Climate Change Urgently

Small Island Developing States (SIDS) is expressing grave concerns that global average warming has already reached one point two degrees Celsius and the prospect of exceeding one point five degrees Celsius the 2030s is imminent. Even at one point five degrees Celsius, Small Island Developing States will continue to experience the worsening of slow onset events and extreme events including more intense storms and, rising sea levels together with storm surges resulting in coastal inundation. Leaders of SIDS continue to underscore that members of the Group of 20, who account for 75 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, have the greatest mitigation potential to curb emissions and keep 1.5°C within reach. Lead Negotiator for the Alliance of Small Island States, the regional negotiating block that Belize is a part of, Janine Felson explains.

Jane Felson, Lead Negotiator, AOSIS on Climate Finance: “We need a lot of effort being put into closing the mitigation gap which is to get us to 1.5. We need efforts to push the developed countries to deliver on their climate finance promise but to go beyond the hundred billion that they’re speaking about, start shifting toward the trillions and we need specific focus on how support can be increased for countries like Belize who are fighting against the impacts of climate change but we’re paying for it all out of our own pockets and when we get support we get it in a form of loans. We can’t continue to pay for something that we didn’t cause so we need to push on that finance front to make sure that our countries are getting access to the grants that we need and that we actually are owed. We also need to adjust an entirely new area which is loss and damage. When you think of the barrier reef and you think of how much stress it is under and what that will mean if we lose that which is a natural defence for us but it’s also a lifeline to our economy. Once we lose that we can’t get it back that’s why we need to talk about this thing called loss and damage and we need the support for that. We didn’t cause the climate crisis, we’re not contributing to human induced climate change but we are suffering the consequences. There are many tools in the tool box for us to start raising ambition and one of the tools will be markets which is basically trading on carbon credits with the end point of reducing emissions. That is a critical component of this discussion but we don’t want what you hear about green washing we want substantial mitigation efforts being put on the table. So there are lots of different parts to that whole markets discussion that are under negotiation, that are very technical but what we need is for our ministers to continuously emphasize that this is for 1.5, this is for people not for profit.”