GIS - December 1st, 2015: All of our developed country partners have to come together, demonstrate political will, and agree on a legally-binding agreement. Prudent actions will help us lay the foundations for a sustainable, climate-resilient future, as our survival on this planet depends on the survival of our environment.
This was the main thrust of the address of the President of the Republic, Dr Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change which is taking place from 30 November to 11 December 2015 in Paris le Bourget, France.
While observing that time is not on our side, the President pointed out that COP 21 offers an unprecedented opportunity to take heed of scientific findings about anthropogenic changes to climate, and act collectively to accelerate the overall effort to combat climate change.
The President further recalled that in September 2015, Mauritius submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. ‘My country has bold aims to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030 and transition to a sustainable, low-carbon development pathway’, she stressed.
Moreover, President Gurib-Fakim enumerated issues that Mauritius wishes to address as regards the 2015 agreement, namely:
- respect and maintain the principles of equity, and common but differentiated responsibility;
- intensify efforts to reduce emission of greenhouse gases by industrialised countries in line with historical responsibility and scientific findings;
- treat adaptation, loss and damage issues as separate components of the Paris Agreement; the Mauritius stand is that the loss and damage component be anchored in a permanent international mechanism;
- mobilise finance to fight climate change comprehensively; and
- boost access to technology and build capacity to expand adaptation and mitigation efforts in SIDS, LDC’s and African countries.
It is recalled that according to the 2014 World Risk Report, Mauritius is ranked 14th on the list of countries at high risk of suffering an extreme climatic event. Temperature is increasing and surpassing the global average. A reduction in annual precipitation rates has been observed while sea level is also rising at significantly higher level than the global average. The climate change projections for Mauritius are bleak.
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