Climate envoys should try harder after Paris, poorer nations say

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2015 1:04 PM

By Susanna Twidale

LONDON (Reuters) - The global push to fight climate change must intensify after a major meeting in Paris, said poorer nations on Tuesday, who are reconciled to disappointment in any upcoming deal.

Climate negotiators should not abandon hope of limiting global temperatures rises to below 1.5 degrees even if targets on the table for Paris are less ambitious, they said.

Their comments came three days before the United Nations publishes a report expected to show current plans - Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) - on the table from over 150 countries.

U.N. climate chief Christiana Figueres said this week the plans would only limit the rise to just below 3 degrees.

“We are hopeful that if we are responsive to science we will aim for a temperature rise that is safest for all the world’s citizens. None of us are dispensable,” Giza Gaspar Martins, chair of the Least Developed Countries group said on the sidelines of a Chatham House event on Tuesday.

A three degree rise would  increase the risk of strong sea level rise from, for example Antarctica, or the collapse of marine ecosystems, according to the latest report from the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Scientists say the rise must be kept below 2 degrees to stave off the worst effects of climate change such as drought and flooding but this could still lead to an increase in sea levels, threatening their existence of many low-lying islands states.

“The INDCs are not enough to say with any confidence my country will be saved,” said Tony de Brum, foreign minister for the Marshall Islands, one of the nations most threatened by rising sea levels at the event.

Britain's parliamentary under secretary for climate change, Nicholas Bourne said at the event the Paris agreement should contain provisions for a review periods, allowing countries to put forward more ambitious plans every few years.

Negotiators from more than 190 countries will meet in Paris from November 30 to thrash out a United Nations climate deal.

(Editing by William Hardy)