16 August 2016
Climate Vulnerable Forum Inaugurates South-South Centre, Ethiopian Presidency
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The Philippines hosted Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) leaders and senior officials from 11-15 August for a series of leadership events in Manila and a seminar at the new South-South Centre in Tagaytay.

The week marked the conclusion of the Philippine presidency of the CVF and launched the Ethiopian presidency.

cvf15 August 2016: Addressing the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF) for the first time in his capacity as Chair, Shiferaw Teklemariam Menbacho, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change of Ethiopia, stressed that the 43 highly vulnerable member countries of the CVF strive to develop their economies, yet “continue to be faced with serious, devastating and unforeseeable challenges” that hinder progress toward “inclusive and sustainable development.”

Teklemariam was speaking during the handover ceremony marking the conclusion of the Philippines’ CVF presidency, which began in January 2015. The CVF brings together 43 highly climate-vulnerable countries to, inter alia, build a shared agenda on the most important climate change issues, increase international cooperation on climate, exchange good practices, and contribute to a “truly effective, inclusive and responsible global climate change governance regime.”

The Philippines hosted CVF leaders and senior officials from 11-15 August for a High Level Policy Forum and other events in Manila. Expressing his confidence in the Ethiopian presidency, which will be the first from Africa, to further advance the CVF’s urgent mission, Secretary Emmanuel de Guzman, Philippines Climate Change Commission, explained that the common goal is to keep temperatures below a 1.5°C rise above pre-industrial levels to “enable our countries to reap early the benefits of economic security, job creation and environmental safety.” Teklemariam added that the Ethiopian presidency will be “vocal, visionary, visible and vigilant” in its work toward limiting temperature rise.

At a presentation to the Philippine Senate on the findings of the ‘Low Carbon Monitor: Philippines,’ Loren Legarda, Chair of the Philippine Senate Committee on Climate Change, noted that “bending the global warming curve to 1.5°C is a moral imperative” that is necessary to save the “lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people.” The study’s results indicate that the difference between 1.5°C and 2°C of warming is such that the latter case would mean a third more heat wave spells in tropical developing countries, increased risk of lower crop yields, and higher risk of downpours and associated flooding.

Concurrently with the high-level events, an inaugural seminar on 11-14 August, titled ‘Climate Diplomacy, Leadership, and Negotiations,’ was held at the new South-South Centre in Tagaytay. The Centre is intended to focus on excellence in climate information and services. During the seminar, a number of inaugural lectures were delivered as were presentations on topics such as: a rights-based approach to the climate vulnerable; 1.5°C to 4°C temperature rise scenarios; nationally determined contributions (NDCs) to the Paris Agreement; and climate finance.

The seminar aimed to build the capacity of climate-vulnerable countries to advance their collective agenda through enhanced engagement in international and public diplomacy, global climate negotiations and climate action leadership. It facilitated South-South sharing of expertise and experiences, while also providing an opportunity to hear the latest in climate change science and research.

The week of leadership events in the Philippines was organized by the Philippine Senate and Climate Change Commission of the Philippines. Ethiopia assumed the presidency on 15 August. [CVF Event Announcement] [Incoming CVF Chair Remarks] [Senator Legarda Remarks] [CVF Press Release on Conclusion of CVF Events] [IISD RS Sources]

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