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June 26, 2018


Contact: Keith Porter,

Climate Vulnerable Forum Announces World’s First Low-Carbon Leaders Summit to Raise Climate Ambition and Accelerate Action

DA NANG, Vietnam – June 27, 2018:  Dr. Hilda C. Heine, President of the Republic of the Marshall Islands and incoming Chair of the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), today announced the first ever carbon-free online Summit of world leaders on 22nd of November 2018.  The CVF Summit aims to trigger a universal effort by all countries to enhance their emission reduction pledges by 2020 in order to stay within  the 1.5°C  limit set by the Paris Agreement.

The announcement of the Summit comes in the wake of a joint statement last week by more than 20 countries that they will explore ways to increase ambition by 2020, and was the result of a major diplomatic effort led by the Marshall Islands.  The CVF Summit now presents an unprecedented opportunity to rally more countries to join this new coalition of front-runners committed to exploring the possibilities for  raising ambition, including NDCs, and to accelerate climate action around the world.

The CVF Summit will take place at a crucial time, after the release of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C in October and right before this year’s UN climate talks in Poland in December (COP24). 

The CVF Summit will provide a high-profile international platform for a critical mass of front-running countries that are ready to put the world on a safer 1.5oC pathway; to rally other countries to join the effort; and to ensure that necessary financial resources are committed to make this possible.

“We need every country to step up their climate targets by 2020 to help protect the survival of my country, as we were promised in the Paris Agreement. My island nation may be on the frontline, but no country will be immune. This November the world’s most vulnerable countries will once again show we are leading by example – and if we can do it, others can too. Last week more than twenty countries joined the Marshall Islands in launching a Declaration for Ambition, and in the lead-up to the Climate Vulnerable Forum Summit this November we now call on others to join us in signing that Declaration,” President  Heine said.

The announcement, made at the 6th Global Environment Facility Assembly in Da Nang, was accompanied by the release of a video featuring President Heine urging world leaders to join the Summit and address climate threats on lives and livelihoods in every corner of the world, as well as take advantage of the opportunities that can be gained from fighting this man-made calamity.

In October, the IPCC Special Report on 1.5°C will be released and is expected to outline challenges and opportunities in keeping global warming below 1.5°C to reduce the most severe impacts on natural and managed ecosystems as well as vulnerable communities. But fast and urgent action is required. Updating and enhancing commitments by 2020 will be essential to that effort.

The CVF Summit follows the pioneering declaration made by vulnerable countries at the 2016 Climate Negotiations in Morocco and embraces the spirit of Talanoa. The Marrakesh Declaration resolved the crisis during negotiations when CVF countries announced their commitment to transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. They established climate leadership at a time when none was available.

This Summit intends to ensure the full operalization of the Paris Agreement by acting as the springboard for all countries to agree on enhancing ambition. The goal is to reach an important decision during the political phase of the Talanoa Dialogue at the COP24 in Poland, get nations to enhance their NDCs by 2020, and fulfill the promise of Paris. 
The CVF Summit will set a precedent for inclusive and carbon-free climate diplomacy and is likely to change how international gatherings are organised in the future.

"The current targets set by countries in 2015 lead to warming that can reach 3 or 4 degrees Celsius. These levels will certainly drown vulnerable nations. If no real and transformational changes are put forward, the ability to enjoy and advance human rights, peace and sustainable development will be permanently threatened. All governments need and must update their medium and long-term strategies in order to consistently increase ambition, achieve a de-carbonized economy and enjoy all the social, economic and political advantages coming out of that” Carlos Manuel Rodríguez - Minister of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica.

“Our nations are among the most vulnerable to climate change, yet our targets are among the most aggressive in the world. We invite the rest of the world to fulfill their pledges with a far greater sense of urgency. We know that pursuing the 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold we fought for is the best way not only to protect our people and climate, but also to spur economic growth.“ Senator Loren Legarda (Philippines).

Founded in 2009, the Climate Vulnerable Forum is an international partnership of more than 40 nations from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Latin America and the Pacific working to tackle global climate change through collaboration on common goals, communications and the sharing of expertise and experience. In August, the Republic of the Marshall Islands will assume the Chair of the CVF.

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