I have the honour to deliver these remarks on behalf of the 39 members of the Alliance of Small Island States in line with the statement the Group of 77 and China delivered.
AOSIS thanks the Government of the Arab Republic of Egypt for their exceptional hospitality as host of COP27 in Sharm el Sheikh.
Africa is the cradle of humanity, so we return to this cradle to demand that the global community protect our humanity.
Global emissions must peak and decline immediately and well before 2025, according to all of the IPCC’s 1.5-degree pathways. That is just two years from today. With each year of delay, risks have escalated, with all the grave and irreversible consequences and more loss and damage inflicted on all nations across the world. But SIDS can’t cope.
We do not want to be here, demanding finance for our loss and damage response. We do not want to be treated as though you are doing us a favour by adding an agenda item or creating a voluntary fund.
Averting dangerous levels of greenhouse gas emissions is, and always will be, the answer. We want to live in our own homes, on our sovereign islands, with our own traditions and way of life.
Countries should have acted when the Convention was adopted thirty years ago. Instead, the fossil fuel industry has raked in 3 billion dollars per day for the last thirty years. Profits that influence politics.
Our global financial system was built around the fossil fuel economy – a financial system that needs to be reformed.
It is still cheaper, and faster, to get money to destroy the planet than to save it.
Now people are dying, losing homes and migrating – not just in SIDS, but in many tropical regions.
Now we must put in place failsafe measures, or lose credibility and relevance.
We are not here negotiating against each other; we are here negotiating against the climate.
This new agenda item on loss and damage funding reflects the floor of what is acceptable; it is our bare minimum. The concessions of AOSIS should not be to the detriment of our vulnerable women, men and children. Our negotiations at COP27 must be constructive and lead to a substantive outcome.
Simply tinkering with the existing financial mechanisms will not cut it.
AOSIS is here to agree to the establishment of a new Loss and Damage Response Fund at COP27 that is operational by 2024. We are here, so that we can go back to our own homes, and not become climate-displaced people in yours.
We are not asking for favors.
We will not be silent victims to the cost of pollution created by others, for the profit of the few.
The full version of the statement is available online.
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