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Cancun, Mexico (12/10/10) – As the final hours of the COP16 conference approached, representatives of countries most affected by climate change came together to make an appeal to developed countries “to do what is right” by fulfilling an ambitious second period of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol and providing new and additional aid for climate adaptation and mitigation.
Bruno Sekoli, Chair of the Least Developed Countries Group (LDCs) said: “The situation for us is extremely desperate. Our countries are already fighting for survival. Tuvalu could be swept under the water at any time. It is very worrying to imagine what will happen ten years from now at the current rate of emissions.”
Sekoli stressed the importance of maintaining and extending the Kyoto Protocol: “We have a mechanism, the Kyoto Protocol, which was developed and invested in over a long time and which remains the only document on the table. We can improve it through amendments, but any effort to work against it is not available to the LDCs.”
Tosi Mpanu Mpanu, Chair of the African Group, said that 75 to 100 million people in Africa will face water shortages and that crop yields could fall by a third by 2025.
“I appeal to developed countries to do what’s right. They have shown us political, economic, even military leadership at times. It’s time for them to show climactic leadership by doing what’s right,” Mpanu said.
Mpanu stressed the importance of a binding agreement saying, “A new paradigm based on an accord that was only taken note of does not keep Africa safe. It is nothing more than a pledge club.” Appealing to Japan after its public refusal to make a second period of commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, Mpanu said: “I understand Japan has a strong tradition of honor. They should not dishonor their commitment to Kyoto Protocol if honor is important to them.”
Pablo Solon, Ambassador to Bolivia and member of the Latin American ALBA group concluded: “Here we have the countries that will suffer most if there are no strong commitments to reduce emissions and global temperatures. Finance must be based on new and additional funds that can really go to the people that are suffering and the governments that have to respond on the ground to the serious impacts of climate change.”
“What’s decided in this conference today will impact especially those countries that are represented here. We call on developed countries to seriously consider the impact of their decisions,” Solon said.