All countries questioning the urgent need to include a long-term goal to keep temperatures below 1.5°C should check their conscience.
For countries that have suffered the wrath of climate-related extreme events due to the current 1°C temperature increase, any attempt to negotiate a further increase in temperature is a violation of the right to life of many human beings and threatens the existence of ecosystems and species. Countries that have already been impacted by the hazards of climate change often do not have the time to adapt. They are therefore are at risk of loss and damage. Their realities must be reflected in the Paris Agreement.
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations, in recognition of the risks faced by its member countries, is calling for accelerated investments in disaster risk reduction and adaptation. Support for inclusive resilience and risk management needs to be scaled up. It also needs to be sensitive to gender, culture and the needs of the most vulnerable. This is what ECO calls for in the decisions on loss and damage and adaptation for COP21.
Changes in the global climate system have already triggered enormous hazards. These have cost thousands of lives and put significant assets at risk in the most vulnerable countries. The scientific community responded to the calls of civil society organisations and the vulnerable countries, particularly the Climate Vulnerable Forum, by assessing the feasibility of keeping the temperature rise below 1.5°C through mitigation. ECO says that to hold your head high at COP21, you need a clear conscience. We will be watching for bowed heads in Le Bourget.