France and Caribbean leaders issue climate change appeal

Climate disruption – Appeal from Fort-de-France following the regional Caribbean Climate Change Summit 2015 of heads of state and government and regional authority officials

Fort-de-France, 9 May 2015

Planet Earth is our common cradle. A shared homeland. It is an indivisible ecosystem where frontiers and national vanities cannot conceal a deep interdependence in which the excesses of some affect the security and future of others. In this common homeland, wealth and poverty, abundance and want, are simply the limits of one circular movement of causes and effects.

This interdependence is made all the more obvious by the extraordinary challenges posed by climate change, its chain reactions, ongoing and future disasters, the brutal changes we will all have to suffer.

No one will be able to escape on their own.

No one will fall without impacting the entire biosphere and its resilience.

1. The Caribbean region, which contributes only marginally to greenhouse gas emissions, will nonetheless be one of the most seriously impacted areas. Its population is already experiencing the effects of climate disruption, which could induce extreme, more frequent, more intense phenomena, changes in rainfall patterns, ocean acidification and warming, coral bleaching, rising sea levels, coastal erosion, aquifer salinization, the emergence of new high-incidence-rate vector-borne diseases, reduced agricultural productivity, upheavals in traditional fishing patterns, etc.

2. Looking beyond our emergencies, our unequal responsibilities and our differentiated situations, we must therefore acknowledge:

- a unity of destiny that requires us to show a spirit of collective responsibility.

- a requirement for shared, effective and concrete solidarity.

These are the two pillars of high global awareness without which we cannot overcome those challenges.

3. The international community has less than a year to define a legally binding instrument applicable to stakeholders in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This agreement will have to be adopted at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP21) which will take place in Paris, France, in December 2015. This new agreement will have to meet the recommendations contained in the Fifth Assessment (AR5) Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It will also need to have full potential for amendment so as to take into account scientific data as it develops.

4. Therefore, we, heads of state and government and regional authority officials, gathered in Martinique on 9 May 2015, urge world leaders, regional and municipal authorities, the private sector and the peoples of the world:

- to join us in an operational formulation that will enable us to address the multi-faceted challenge of climate change in the most solid, sound and broad manner possible;

- to understand that international cooperation and collaboration are essential to deal with the causes as well as the consequences of climate change in order to protect our Caribbean region in the interest of future generations and the planet’s equilibrium;

- to heed the call of the most vulnerable countries to ensure that this international mobilization benefits the greatest number of people in a perfectly equitable way;

- to decide on financial, scientific and technical aid, and on all forms of support designed to enhance the capacities of the Caribbean region to take the adaptation and prospective redeployment measures that will be necessary;

- to recognize that certain problems are specific to small island states and territories with low elevation above sea level; that these differentiated situations call for specific solutions suited to their national and cultural realities; that regional expertise and the use of traditional knowledge will be necessary for these measures backed by world solidarity to be met with creative acceptance on the part of local populations;

- to provide the financial and technical support needed to prepare and submit their intended nationally determined contributions (INDCs) by October 2015. Future INDCs will be ambitious. They will provide for greenhouse gas reduction measures. They will determine which ones may be initiated with national resources and specify which ones can be achieved only with international technical, scientific and financial assistance.

5. Finally, although the Caribbean is responsible for only a tiny share of global greenhouse gas emissions, our governments will seek to contribute fully to international efforts to limit future emissions to a level that will ensure the survival of the most vulnerable communities, food security for all and socio-economic wellbeing for all, while showing permanent respect for the equilibrium of our biosphere.

We are in the world and the world is within us.

Therefore, we are the world.

Published on 12/05/2015

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