We are not 100% happy with the outcome of COP26

For nearly three decades the UN has been bringing together almost every country for global climate summits – called COPs – which stands for ‘Conference of the Parties’. In a press conference held Tuesday 16th November the Seychelles delegates which comprised of Minister Flavien Joubert accompanied by the President for the Republic of Seychelles H. E Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan pointed out that the Alliance of Small Island developing state in which Seychelles has been a member, is not 100% satisfied with the negotiations.

Minister Joubert highlighted that at the Conference Seychelles was associated with the Alliance of Small Island Developing State (AOSIS), in which it has been a member from the very beginning. He further noted that as the Minister for Climate Change he was given the task of leading subgroups of the alliance whereby he presented the position of the group to the Presidency, he further added that he had the opportunity to discuss with the United Nation Secretary General Mr
António Guterres the positions of Small Island States and hope that they have taken on board SIDS position.

“When it comes on the outcomes of the conference itself, the Seychelles and other island developing state which form part of the AOSIS, we are not 100% happy with the outcome, we are quite disappointed in some instances, because the ambition that was communicated at the very beginning were not carried through to the end, we’ve realize that the amount of progress that we’ve made in the past few years should have been much more, and we would like to see more commitment and action, especially from the big emitters. We’ve seen some declaration that point in the right direction, for example in relation to forest, on coal, on subsidies for fossil fuels, on financing and on loss and damage. However, despite the fact we are pointing in the right direction, the amount of commitment under those different declarations are not sufficient, and we are not happy with the way they have been presented.” Said Mr. Joubert

“Very importantly for us the commitments that were presented with different National Determine Contribution (NDC) reports will not lead us to containing this 1.5 degrees Celsius target. Therefore, we do not think we will reach the 1.5-degree target given the low-level commitment from the big emitters, and this is a major concerns that was presented by the AOSIS, and this is one the points we would want to push very hard on in preparation for COP27 in Egypt next year. We would like to see a serious commitment by 2022, by all countries, to get back on track so we can actually reach the 1.5 degree target. This is very important for us Seychelles and other low-lying islands, who are bearing the brunt of climate change and stand to lose a lot.” Said Minister Joubert

Minister Joubert further stated that the purpose of their attendance at the conference was to communicate the ambition of Seychelles when it comes to climate itself which is presented in our National Determine Contribution plan (NDC). He further added that they had the opportunity to showcase Seychelles ambition to various event they attended. Minister Joubert highlighted that his delegates conducted bilateral discussions with different partners who are in a position to provide Seychelles with technical and financial support and reported that Seychelles has successfully manage to get onboard quit a few of them, especially the most important ones like the Common Wealth, Adaptation Fund and NEC Partnership. Minister Joubert said that they are expecting positive result from them.

“We had a discussion with FAO, we expect very soon a mission from FAO to Seychelles. We will discuss in detail with our local partners on how we can support our local farming community to adapt to Climate Change” said Minister Joubert

Mr. Wills Agricole is the Technical Advisor for the Department of Climate Change, and he was given the task to lead the team of three negotiators. Mr. Agricole raised the same concerned as the Minister

“Climate Change are caused rich industrial developed countries, and the Small Island Developing State like Seychelles are severely affected by the effect of Climate Change, hence why we are disappointed with the negotiations. The track which is important for us is the “Loss and Damage” we’ve requested for a financial support which is separate from the Finance we get globally, unfortunately it was denied. However, it is important to note that the “Loss and Damage” is on the table for the upcoming COP27 in Egypt. This is why we need to ensure we prepare ourselves between now and next year so this financial facility exist for SIDS.” Said Mr Agricole

The effect of human-induced climate change varies around the world. Loss and Damage refers to the negative impacts that some areas are already facing from climate change, such as small island nations and some developing countries. It involves the economic, infrastructure, and social impacts of climate change which are occurring.

He further added that every year Seychelles is experiencing intense weather conditions caused by Climate Change, and as a Small Island Developing State, SIDS need to be compensated by countries that cause Climate Change, however, they are reluctant to meeting to meet the required demands, hence why the fight continues.

“Sea Level rise is one of our biggest challenges, our three main islands are experiencing this every day, gradually our land will disappear, our population will become climate Change refugees. This is why we want to continue the fight,” said Mr. Agricole

Seychelles delegation comprised of Principal Secretary for Climate Change, Ms. Rebecca Lousteau- Lalande, Wills Agricole as the Technical Advisor and leader of Negotiators, Tony Imaduwa, Annie Simeon and 2 negotiators from the Department of Climate Change.

Mr. Ciril Benoiton from the Central bank Seychelles was present at the Press Conference, and he noted that it’s the first time Central Bank Seychelles attends the Conference of Parties.

“Late last year the Central Bank of Seychelles saw the importance to focus on the impact of Climate Change on the financial sectors. We’ve conducted various discussions with the Financial team at COP26, and are we are planning to discuss with all the banks in Seychelles, to provide a sustainable financial service for any individual or local businesses.” Said Mr. Benoiton