Cuba Warns About Global Challenges Despite Paris Agreement
Statement by the minister of Science, Technology and Environment of Cuba, Mrs. Elba Rosa Pérez Montoya to the special signature ceremony of the Paris Agreement on climate change. New York, April 22, 2016.
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary General of
the United Nations,
Distinguished Heads of States, Ministers and
Today, a date of such importance for the
preservation of our planet and the human
species inhabiting it, it is worth mentioned
the words of the historical leader of the Cuba
Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, who, during
the first Global Conference on Sustainable
Development of Small Island States, in
Barbados, stated, and I quote:
“Poor and small countries in the world try
to know how we will survive in the coming
decades. As we are islands…, we wonder what
will happen when the water levels up, and
whether we will be able to cope with drought,
cyclones and other climate catastrophes that
Science and the current climate behavior
corroborate the validity of these concerns.
According to the IPCC, sea level has risen
about 20 centimeters from 1901 to 2010.
According to predictions, it could be worse in
the coming decades, reaching one meter by the
year 2100. Extreme weather events and floods
are ever more frequent, as well as heat waves
Year 2015 was the warmest for Earth in the
recent 136 years, marking 0.9 degrees centigrade
above the average temperature in the twentieth
Not surprisingly, the Global Risk Report of the
2015 World Economic Forum placed the lack
of mitigation and adaptation to climate change
as the most powerful risk for the coming years.
The effect of climate change is also present in
other identified risks, such as the water crisis,
migrations, major natural disasters, and food
If we fail to reverse this situation, what will
happen to coastal cities worldwide and small
islands whose main major cities will not be the
only land submerged?
What will happen to food production,
particularly for the more than 800 million
people suffering from chronic hunger?
How could the world population order and
balance be maintained if emigration continues
in search of better living conditions, including
environment as the natural milieu of the
Cuba has decided to sign the Paris Agreement
and hopes that it is enforced in a near future,
certain that it will really contribute to reduce
the emissions of greenhouse gasses worldwide.
We attained important results in Paris, but
equal big challenges are still pending.
It is known that the voluntarily-determined
contributions submitted by the countries in
the process towards COP 21 are not enough
to keep temperature increase below 2 degrees
centigrade, regarding the pre-industrial levels
and, let alone, limit that temperature increase
to 1.5 degrees, which is a vital goal for island
Therefore, the permanent increasing ambition
to reduce emissions is essential. For developing
countries, these reductions will depend on the
implementation means, namely financing and
technology transfer, whose level of completion
reflected in the Agreement was below the
expectations and needs.
In this regard, just few days ago, Raul Castro
Ruz, President of the Council of State and
Minister of the Republic of Cuba expressed
and I quote:
“… We believe that the cooperation framework
agreed upon after the Paris Summit on climate
change remains limited by the persistence
and imposition of irrational production and
consumption patterns, inconsistent with the
preservation of the human species. The lack of
political will of industrialized nations prevents
the establishment of effective commitments
in terms of financing and technology transfer,
in keeping with the concept of common but
Other important issues like that referring to
“loss and damage” had also limited progress in
Paris and they require greater attention in the
progress of the legal regime of this Agreement.
We hope that the contributions of developed
countries to the Green Climate Fund
contribute to the effective implementation
of the Agreement, so that we can define a
transparent, just and balanced roadmap for the
financial support to developing countries.
Only the progress in these aspects will ensure
that the Agreement and the Decisions arising
from it do not impose undue burdens on
In the context of our national circumstances and
priorities for economic and social development,
Cuba will continue to work and cooperate
firmly in the common struggle to face climate
change and build a cleaner and fairer world.
We are confident that the efforts we have
undertaken to date in the establishment of new
international commitments to stop and cope
with climate change, let us save the world.
We have no alternative but to comply with
the agreement, in order to survive the current
As Fidel once expressed in 2004, I quote:
“Dreaming of impossible things is called
utopia; fight for goals, not only attainable but
also essential for the survival of the species, is
I thank you very much.
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