Statement on Climate Change to the Climate Vulnerable Forum 2018
Date: Thu 22nd Nov, 2018 | 06:00
President Higgins has addressed the first-ever global political Summit held entirely online.
This zero emissions summit is being organised to promote greater political support for climate action, to keep the world safe from the global threat of climate change.
In his address to the Virtual Leaders’ Summit, convened by the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), President Higgins said that "no continent, no nation, and no people can claim that they are immune to the effects of climate change," and that "those nations most responsible for the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere owe not only a duty of solidarity, but of justice, to those who will bear the heaviest and most immediate burden of climate change."
The President's statement is available below and at https://youtu.be/Tl8Ye1RnPmc
Leaders’ Statement to the CVF Virtual Climate Summit 2018
Michael D. Higgins
President of Ireland
22 November 2018
As President of Ireland, it is an honour for me to address this Virtual Summit of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, as we, together, seek to confront the greatest challenge of our age.
No continent, no nation, and no people can claim that they are immune to the effects of climate change, from the devastating impact of rising sea levels to powerful and unpredictable storm systems; from changes in precipitation patterns to discernible impacts on the natural world and to the ecosystems on which we all rely. These dangers are hostile to us all.
Yet, in meeting today we recognise that the consequences of climate change, are not, and will not be, felt equally throughout our planet.
In a world of shared vulnerabilities, some nations and peoples are more vulnerable than others to the devastating impact of changes in sea levels, rainfall and weather patterns.
That is why those nations most responsible for the accumulation of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere owe not only a duty of solidarity, but of justice, to those who will bear the heaviest and most immediate burden of climate change and also, of course, to future generations.
It is a duty that was recognised in Paris three years ago in a remarkable demonstration of global solidarity. Our fidelity to the pledges we made in Paris will serve not only to organise and measure our success or failure in this century but the authenticity of our commitments.
That authenticity must be demonstrated in the coming years, not only through a just transition to a carbon-free economy, but by the mobilisation of finance, resources and science and technology and, above all, their being made available for climate adaptation.
That will demand, in my own country and in the Global North, the conquest of indifference and even cynicism. Put simply, it will demand a renewed and visibly active dedication to justice, equality, and solidarity, and it will require an effort equal to the dangers that the most vulnerable nations on our planet now confront.
Next month, the nations of the world will meet in Poland to agree upon our collective approach towards the implementation of Paris Agreement.
On behalf of the people of Ireland, I have added my name to the Heads of State Declaration for greater climate ambition, a declaration that outlines the urgency for political vision and courage as we seek to realise the pledges we made to ourselves, and to others, in Paris.
May I, as President of Ireland, offer you my enduring solidarity and support as we go forward together.
Míle buíochas, Slán.