Vulnerable countries show climate leadership

8:12pm GMT: I can’t detect any important alterations to the final Dhaka Declaration from the draft we saw last week. The wording is much tighter, especially on the core demands expressed by the 19 vulnerable countries.

The central message emerging from the Climate Vulnerable Forum is plain:

We, as vulnerable countries, resolve to demonstrate moral leadership by committing to a low-carbon development path on a voluntary basis within the limitations of our respective capabilities

Wow – moral leadership is not a claim for the faint-hearted. It’s fascinating to see how this lateral thinking blends with the familiar phrases which have for so long established the moral position of the original UN Climate Convention – “common but differentiated responsibilities” and “historical contribution”.

Is this the beginning of an era of reverse colonialism in which the missionaries travel north to convert the environmental savages of the industrialised world?

Back to the nitty gritty of the Declaration. The demands are familiar but there are a number of references to “priority” for vulnerable countries. This by logic leads to a call for “common criteria for assessing climate vulnerability.” That won’t be straightforward, given the diverse results of vulnerability indices already in circulation.

8:33pm GMT: In a frank exchange with OneClimate at the Climate Vulnerable Forum, Mohamed Mijarul Quayes, Foreign Secretary of Bangladesh, explains the position adopted by the conference.

The countries most vulnerable to the impact of climate change can no longer wait for global leadership to emerge from the customary sources. Their conclusion is to lead by example themselves, shaming those who should be doing more to promote low carbon solutions.


this post was first published by OneWorld UK