FEATURE: High Ambition Coalition statements on COP23, Kigali Agreement
COP23 makes good progress but more to do — Marshall Islands
In the early hours of Saturday morning 18 November, COP23 wrapped up in Bonn under the Presidency of Fiji. Below are the reflections of the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ new Minister-in-Assistance to the President and Environment Minister, David Paul, on the outcome. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a recipient of CDKN’s Negotiations Support programme.
“Our Pacific cousins from Fiji have successfully set the course towards an increase in global ambition by 2020, but it will take a lot more work for us to get there. We will now need to seize the opportunity of the Talanoa Dialogue next year, and a number of big political moments to come, if my country is to have a pathway to survival. This means keeping global temperature increases within 1.5 degrees Celsius, otherwise no country will be immune.”
“COP23 has shown the world remains firmly committed to climate action. In the last two weeks, we have seen support grow for the Paris Agreement, the triggering of the entry into force of the Kigali Amendment in 2019, the forging of a landmark new alliance to phase out coal, and a big push on the Doha Amendment.”
“President Macron’s Summit next month provides an opportunity for world leaders to begin to signal their commitment to doing more to reduce emissions. In addition to the Talanoa Dialogue process, 2018 will also see the California Summit and the publication of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees. The UN Secretary-General’s Summit in 2019 will be the key political moment on the pathway to raising ambition in 2020 and must focus on that as its objective. The people of the Marshall Islands are counting on this. We will not let them down.”
Kigali Agreement on hydrofluorocarbons will enter into force — High Ambition Coalition
The High Ambition Coalition – a progressive group of countries convened by the Republic of the Marshall Islands – has ensured that the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol will enter into force as soon as possible. The Amendment required 20 countries to deposit their instruments of ratification with the UN in order for it to enter into force on 1 January 2019. Having fought hard to secure the Amendment in Kigali last year, the HAC had set the goal of reaching this threshold in 2017. To this end, earlier this year, RMI also became the first country to complete its domestic ratification of the Amendment and more than half of the countries that have since ratified the Amendment are members of the HAC.
Below is a statement, released 17 November 2017, by HAC Ministers from the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Rwanda and the European Union who have been championing the HAC’s activity in this area. The Republic of the Marshall Islands is a recipient of CDKN’s negotiations support programme.
“The Kigali Amendment is a significant step towards staying within the temperature limits we agreed in Paris. Today – on the final day of COP23 – we crossed the threshold required for the Amendment to enter into force in 2019. The fact that this has been achieved just over a year since the Amendment was adopted in Kigali is a massive political signal of our determination to phase down HFCs, and of our commitment to a multilateral approach to tackling climate change.”
“The High Ambition Coalition played a big role in securing the Amendment last year, and a big role in driving its ratification this year. More than half of the first countries that have ratified the Amendment are from the High Ambition Coalition. With the next meeting of the Montreal Protocol convening next week in Canada, we hope the rest of the world can also join this vital Amendment and start work on implementing it.”
On 25 November, on the heels of this announcement, developed countries pledged a total of US$ 540 million to help developing countries move away from using HFCs for cooling. This pledge includes US$37m from the United States, who at this time announced its intent to begin the process of ratifying the Kigali Amendment. UN Environment director Erik Solheim launched a complementary programme with $52m of philanthropic funding.