World leaders adopt Manila-Paris declaration

PARIS, France, Dec. 1 (PNA/Sputnik) — Members of the Vulnerable 20 (V20) on Monday adopted the Manila-Paris Declaration and a three-year Road Map of Activities aimed at enhancing cooperation among themselves to effectively address climate change.

The declaration was issued following the third high-level meeting of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), which President Benigno S. Aquino III presided on the sidelines of the leaders’ event of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).

According to a press statement released by the CVF, the Manila-Paris Declaration is a “historic” one and “the strongest call to date”, as it has united some of the world’s vulnerable countries across continents to a single commitment.

The agreement calls for a full de-carbonization of the world economy, 100 percent renewable energy by 2050, and zero emission by mid-century to keep the world on track towards its below 1.5 degrees of warming target.

It also encourages highly industrialized nations to assist the most climate vulnerable developing countries, technically and financially, in utilizing renewable energy sources to address the negative effects of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Individually, we are already survivors; collectively, we are a force towards a fairer, more climate-proactive world,” President Benigno S. Aquino III was quoted as saying during the forum.

Philippine Finance Secretary and V20 Finance Ministers’ group chair Cesar Purisima announced that they would find ways to help push the goals established by the declaration.

“We are convinced that the V20 has its role to play in helping to unlock the full potential of climate finance as we look to a new international partnership for moving our effort forward,” Purisima said.

“We will work in this context to take steps to enable our economies to benefit from US$ 20 billion in new and additional finance by 2020, drawing from international, regional and domestic sources, and leveraging maximum degrees of private finance,” he added.

According to Bangladeshi Minister of Environment Anwar Hossain Manju, the Manila-Paris Declaration “is just the beginning of our efforts to step up our voice and collaboration.”

“We refuse to be the sacrifice of the international community in Paris. Anything that takes our survival off the table here is a red line. All parties have an obligation to act. Not doing so is a crime,” Hossain said.

The CVF, which was founded in 2009, is a broad coalition of middle income, least developed, and small island developing states worldwide that are susceptible to the adverse impacts of climate change.

The Philippines held the chairmanship of CVF for this year with Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Maldives, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Ghana, Nepal, Timor-Leste, Barbados, Kenya, Tuvalu, Bhutan, Kiribati, Rwanda, Vanuatu, Costa Rica, Madagascar, Saint Lucia and Vietnam as members.

Ethiopia was confirmed as the incoming chair of the CVF for the 2016-2017 period.

The third high-level meeting of the CVF held here was the culmination of nearly two years of expert, diplomatic and senior official consultations, including five regional meetings and a global preparatory meeting last November 11 in Manila that issued The Manila Communiqué. (PNA)