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Seychelles fights for Small Island States at Cancun Climate Change Summit

Seychelles fights for Small Island States at Cancun Climate Change Summit ( The Seychelles Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Ronald Jumeau, returned to New York this week following his attendance of the Climate Change Summit held in Cancun, Mexico last week.

In a telephone press conference held yesterday evening, Amb. Jumeau characterized the summit as a success for Seychelles explaining that while the resulting agreement was not ideal, it was still a victory for Small Island States (SIS) who lobbied hard to avoid the deadlock of the last summit held in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 2009.

Cancun was the first time that the more developed participants agreed on a binding legal agreement on emissions.

“The text that emerged is workable, and we can build upon it, which is a huge improvement on Copenhagen. We didn’t get all that we wanted but we got more than we expected… it is not enough to save us but it is a step in the right direction,” said Amb. Jumeau.

Other successes of the summit include an agreement on the transfer of technology and an agreement to set up an Adaptation and Green Fund to raise US$100 billion by 2020 to assist developing countries adapt to climate change.

Mr. Jumeau, who is also the Seychelles Ambassador to the United States of America, explained that a lot of the discussions focused on financing for climate change and Seychelles continued to fight for access to funds that allow upper middle income states, who produce low emissions, to have funds for adaptation as opposed to mitigation. Amb. Jumeau said that Seychelles will continue to push for allocation of funds to be based on vulnerability as opposed to poverty, as it is island states that face the biggest threat.

“The most important result of this summit was that the smallest and most vulnerable states were able to get their voices heard and the rest of the world realized that we will not be silenced. Climate change is one of our single biggest threats and Seychelles fought hard for the world to take notice of that fact there [Cancun], and we will continue to push this message at every given opportunity,” said the Minister responsible for Environment, Mr. Joel Morgan.

The Principal Secretary of Environment, Mr. Didier Dogley, who accompanied the Ambassador along with Mr. Wills Agricole, said that the agreement was a success in the way it fostered agreement from all involved, its main weakness lay in the mitigation text, which contains no reference to emission figures and timelines to achieve these by the developed countries and emerging economies and references to the monitoring, reporting, and verification mechanisms for these emissions limits.

“This means is that we will have to work very hard to have some sort of agreement on emission limits because the deadline of 2015 to cap emissions of CO2 so that it can peak by 2020 is fast approaching. After that we may not be able to control dangerous climate change,” said Mr. Dogley.

Alain St.Ange CEO, Seychelles Tourism Board Email:

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