Posted by: africanpressorganization | 23 September 2009

Climate change / Message from the President of the Republic of Seychelles




Climate change / Message from the President of the Republic of Seychelles


VICTORIA, Mahé, September 23, 2009/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Message from the President of the Republic of Seychelles

Mr. James Alix Michel

2009 must be a year of ACTION on climate change.

As leaders, we must be able to tell our children, that we have acted- that we have

acted together to save our planet. In the face of any crisis- the worst that anyone

can do, is do nothing.

The world financial crisis has tested us all. In every country as well as through our

shared multilateral institutions, we have moved, we have taken action to mitigate

the effects of the crisis. Time will only tell if we have made the right decisions. But

we have all, as leaders, stood in front of our people and explained that we have had

to do what needs to be done. In many cases we have had to take radical action.

And in many cases, the remedy has been a painful one.

The effects of the financial crisis, pale in significance compared to the potential

effects of climate change.

In the same way that the action we have taken to redress the world economy has

often challenged established ways of doing things, the action that we need to take to

tackle climate change may appear daunting. We have always known that it will be

difficult. But it is not, and has never been, impossible.

For small islands- climate change is about our existence. It is about maintaining our

human right to live and work in the land of our birth, the land of our parents. We

must act now to ensure that our islands are also the land of our children.

Millions of people around the world are living on the edge of an abyss. Recent

studies show that assuming current rates of warming, the sea will rise more than 1.4

m in less than 100 years. And emissions continue to grow. Warming continues to

accelerate- and if we do nothing that 100 years will very easily become 50.

Islanders face forced displacement and destruction of our already fragile economies.

Climate change threatens the very concept of human dignity.

For small islands and least developed countries, the road towards Copenhagen is

about survival. The progress made so far is unacceptable. And proposed

compromises are simply a means of shifting the debate to future generations.

We must also avoid bringing in conditionality. We must avoid zero-sum games

where we perceive our ability to act in relation to others’ ability to act. If we all act,

we are all better off. The solution involves us ALL taking our responsibility. We are

ALL responsible for the state of our planet. We are ALL responsible for the actions

that we must take.

We need an unrivalled pledge to cut real emissions to safe levels. A firm deal in

Copenhagen will be a pact for all of humanity. We cannot leave any nation behind.

I take the opportunity to call on the developed world to use the advanced technology

at their disposal to take the lead in cutting emissions. Cutting emissions will cost.

But let us ensure that it is a cost that is shared. If things remain the same, the

biggest cost is borne by the poor farmer in Africa and the fishermen in our islands.

The cost of acting to reduce climate change is far less than proceeding on the same

route we are currently stuck in. In fact recent studies show that the cost for

developed countries of achieving 40% reduction by 2020 is as low as 0.5 to 1.5% of


Let us act. Let us act now.

Let us stand before our peoples and make a promise on behalf of humanity



President of the Republic of Seychelles


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