on 22nd November 2018

The EU must show leadership on climate action to protect the most vulnerable in Europe and across the world  

Brussels, Belgium. 22 November 2018. Today, the Climate Vulnerable Forum – a forum of countries who are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change – are holding the first Virtual Climate Summit of Heads of State and Government. Several European leaders are joining the 24-hour event, adding momentum for urgent climate action ahead of COP24.

The first of its kind, the Virtual Climate Summit provides a platform for the leaders of all nations to take into account the landmark IPCC report on warming of 1.5°C and commit to bold action to limit temperature increase to 1.5°C. In the face of the climate crisis, the participating leaders will publish a joint declaration.

Heads of States and government representatives from several European countries, including Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands, are participating  in the Virtual Forum. They acknowledge the ever more severe impacts of climate change, and the need for urgent action to keep temperature rise to 1.5°C to protect the vulnerable communities all over the world.

The official outcome of the Summit will feed into the “Talanoa Dialogue,” the agreed mechanism of the Paris Agreement to promote enhanced action by all nations party, and sends a powerful call to arms to all leaders and non-state actors to enhance ambition.

One of the thematic discussions of the Virtual Summit was organised by CAN Europe and CARE International in the European Parliament. During the event, co-hosted by the Fijian Ambassador and MEPs from the European People’s Party, the Socialists and Democrats and the Green Party, the speakers examine what the EU needs to do to step up for a fair, ambitious and gender responsive climate policy.

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary H.E Mr Deo SARAN, Fiji said: “The EU can play a crucial role at COP24 by significantly increasing its nationally determined contribution to show leadership; supporting a robust rulebook for the Paris Agreement; and financial support to enable developing countries to mitigate and adapt to climate change impacts. Through this Summit, we encourage the EU to stand together with the Vulnerable Countries and commit to better climate policies.”

Director of CAN Europe, Wendel Trio, said: “ Ahead of COP 24, the Vulnerable Countries are showing real leadership in terms of climate action while calling for others to join them. As the European leaders have acknowledged in their statements at the Virtual Summit there is a real urgency to take bold climate action. In Katowice, the EU needs to commit to substantially increase its 2030 target to restore Europe’s image as a global climate leader and to show its support and responsibility to the Vulnerable Countries, as well as to its own citizens and future generations.”

Director of CARE International – Brussels Office, Céline Mias, said: “In many poor countries, women and girls are particularly affected by the adverse impacts of climate change. Families have to leave their homes because increasingly severe weather disasters, fueled by the climate crisis, are causing destruction. The EU must step up its efforts to decrease harmful greenhouse gas emissions to prevent a rise above 1.5C, and should also support the implementation of new financial resources to protect affected families from climate-related impacts, as suggested by the European Parliament. The time for action is now.”

For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Camilla Schramek, CARE International, Head of Climate Change and Resilience Communications
+ 45 50 22 92 88, cschramek@careclimatechange.org

Notes to the Editor
The programme and outcome of the Virtual Summit can be found here: https://www.virtualclimatesummit.org/

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