The President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe has expressed concern over delayed climate action, noting that the globe is still some distance away from putting into effect a global action plan to tackle climate change.
In a statement, Wickremesinghe criticized the nations that have historically been responsible for the most damage, who can make significant contributions but have obstructed the advancement of climate action.
The president said, “For 27 years, world leaders have been meeting under the COP framework to confront the greatest threat to the future of humanity – climate change.
Continuing, he said, “Yet, we are no closer to the implementation of a universal and collaborative plan of climate action as mandated by the COP process.
He maintained that the agreements reached by COP27 failed to place the nations of the world on a complementary and progressive course of redress, adding that the biggest obstacle to success has been politicisation and stagnation. The outcome of the Summit is discouraging.
He explained that the absence of leadership by those countries who were historically accountable for the greatest damage and who are capable of meaningful contributions has stymied the furtherance of climate action.
“The nations of the global South are left to fight their corner with the Loss and Damages Fund, only a partial breakthrough, and achieved largely as a result of the unified stand and increased pressure of the G77 nations in the past years.
He noted that While the Loss and Damages Fund is a step in the right direction, there is a critical omission in the identification of those nations who will be responsible for making the requisite financial contributions.
“Neither does the reference to the establishment of the Fund include any provisions on liabilities or compensations. Consequently, the G77 countries will need to continue the campaign to have these shortfalls addressed to ensure that the Loss and Damages Fund is operating at its full potential.
“Moreover, this fund is retrospective – it will only provide compensation for damages that have occurred. It does not address the root causes of climate change.
He said that It was imperative therefore to arrest the destruction that is ongoing through a concentrated effort to achieve the goal of US 100 billion in financial aid for prospective and preventative action.
“The world is progressing at a rate faster than previously predicted, and therefore, efforts to mitigate climate change cannot remain stagnant,” he said. “Last year the world was unanimous in its decision that global temperatures should not experience a rise of over 1.5 degrees Celsius”.
He warned that If world leaders do not engage with this sincerely, they will be guilty of sitting on the sidelines sprouting rhetoric as the global climate worsens and habitations collapse.
“COP28 in the UAE must not be yet another starting point, but rather a stocktake of the implementation of past decisions,”. “It must be a seal of approval for a year of work towards strengthening the global response to climate change – beginning with a crucial emphasis on the energy sector”.
Story was adapted from News first.