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Current climate ceiling will mean “unmanageable suffering"

MANILA/GENEVA: The 20 members states of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), chaired by the Philippines, says the current 2 °Celsius climate ceiling expected to be reaffirmed at the Paris climate summit (COP 21) this December is too high.

Presenting three new independent reports to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the group says 2 °C is "inadequate" and poses serious threats to human rights, labor and migration.

cyclone pam 2"How can we possibly subscribe to more than double current warming given what less than 1 °C has entailed?" declared secretary of the Philippines Climate Change Commission, Mary Ann Lucille L. Sering. "When we see that warming emissions from the energy sector actually stalled last year despite economic growth, or if we look at the unpredicted pace of low-carbon tech uptake, arguments not to strengthen our aims start to wear thin," she added.

The CVF is calling on the 196-COP member states to interact with the expert authors of the three reports and consider other new information at an additional session prior to the Paris summit.

"It is less well-known that at the COP 21 governments must also take a decision on whether limiting the increase in the temperature to less than 2 degrees is adequate. Meeting that goal is central to much of what is already in place and what more is hoped to figure in a future Paris agreement applicable to major economies and small nations alike. If governments decide a more stringent limit is now needed because of the Review, including these studies, this will imply greater efforts by all across the board," explained Neil Buhne, director of the UN Development Programme's (UNDP) Geneva office.

Following the cyclone that hit Vanuatu In March this year, a statement by the CVF noted the dangers of human interference with the global climate, and emphasized that limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius would help prevent "unmanageable suffering and devastation".

The CVF includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Barbados, Bhutan, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Kiribati, Madagascar, Maldives, Nepal, Philippines, Rwanda, Saint Lucia, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Tuvalu, Vanuatu and Vietnam.

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