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From the Front Lines of Climate Change

The voluntary national pledges that underpin the Paris climate agreement are inadequate to the magnitude of the problem. For the world's most vulnerable countries, limiting the rise in global temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius is not just an aspirational goal; it is a matter of survival.

MANILA/SAN JOSÉ – On April 22, dignitaries representing no fewer than 175 parties signed the global climate change agreement concluded in Paris in December, setting a record for the adoption of an international accord. The show of support is heartening. It provides hope that the momentum that led to the breakthrough deal in December remains undiminished.

But securing an agreement in Paris was just the first step on a long road towards protecting the global climate and the world’s most vulnerable countries. The signing ceremony was the second. Next comes the ratification process; 55 countries, representing at least 55% of global emissions, will need to ratify the agreement to enable it to enter into force.

The good news is that the process is already underway. In February, Fiji became the first nation to ratify the treaty, followed by three other small island states. All four are members of the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a group of 43 countries – including Costa Rica and the Philippines, which we represent – on the front lines of climate change. Members of the forum fought tirelessly for an agreement in Paris, and we will do everything within our power to speed up its entry into force.

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