The Philippines led climate change-vulnerable countries in calling for global action to address and mitigate the weather phenomenon.
The call was articulated in “The Manila Communique” released on Wednesday by 43 nations at the conclusion of a three-day meeting in Manila, according to Assistant Secretary Joyceline Goco, acting executive director of the Climate Change Commission.
“We are encouraged by the Manila Communique that emphasizes the importance of national action while calling for greater global commitments to respond to the needs of the most vulnerable countries. We remain committed to trigger actions that will accelerate progress toward the goal of staying below 1.5 °C,” Goco said.
The communique highlights the endangerment of more than one billion people living in vulnerable countries represented in Manila and already suffering serious consequences even at just a global warming temperature of 0.85 degree Celsius.
“Our vulnerable nations are the ground zero in the global struggle against climate change. Meeting here in Manila, we shine a light on the grave dangers we face but also our achievements in addressing climate change and the benefits this is bringing us,” Goco said.
During the meeting, Goco announced the “Vulnerable Twenty” (V20), a group of countries said to be highly prone to the adverse effects of climate change, together with 23 incoming members from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East and the Pacific have agreed to strengthen their collaboration and domestic climate change action to trigger increased commitments from all countries.
“We will call for the global community to hasten means by which vulnerable countries are able to access predictable, scaled-up climate finance, while directing our own resources and capacities toward climate actions,” she said.
Goco added that the vulnerable nations also agreed to seize the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP21) as an opportunity for a climate-secure framework to keep warming below 1.5 degree Celsius.
“Inspired by our collective progress as vulnerable countries, we will bring our bold ambition to the world leaders, not as an end of a journey but a milestone toward a more prosperous and sustainable future,” she said.
Goco added that climate change-vulnerable countries will continue to articulate the centrality of tackling climate change within a regime of human rights protection.
“We will work in solidarity with developed countries to put in place actions on loss and damage consistent with the Warsaw International Mechanism to ensure developing countries are enabled to manage climate risks,” she said.
Aside from Philippines, other members of the V20 are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.
Based on estimates, V20 countries suffer economic losses amounting to 2.5 percent of their potential gross domestic product every year.
The losses are expected to escalate if no significant action against climate change is implemented.