Climate change ruthlessly pervasive: Fiame

The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the adverse impacts of climate change, Prime Minister, Fiame Naomi Mata'afa has told an international conference.

The Prime Minister had made the comments during the Commonwealth Foreign Affairs Ministers Meeting which was held virtually on 17 September.

Emphasising the parallel threats of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, Fiame said having added an additional layer of risks that further exacerbate Samoa's vulnerability which derailed development efforts and hard fought gains.

“The pandemic has exacerbated the adverse impacts of climate change. While the COVID19 virus has not infected everyone globally, climate change has been ruthlessly pervasive and affected all countries,” the Prime Minister said.

According to Fiame, Samoa has submitted its Second Nationally Determined Contribution focusing on economy-wide as well additional sector specific emissions reductions.

“The support by the Commonwealth for Samoa to meet these ambitious adaptation and mitigation actions would be welcomed,” she said.

“Our commonwealth family represents more than a quarter of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and almost one third of the world’s population. More than half of us are small states, with many SIDS, Samoa inclusive.

“We therefore take pride in the continued leadership of the Commonwealth members in providing and calling for ambitious climate action."

The Prime Minister said small island developing states is counting on this united approach to encourage all countries especially the major emitters, to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century.

“It is critical for a liveable climate to keep the 1.5 degrees promise within reach,” she said. “In closing I thank the United Kingdom as COP26 President for their proactive engagement and commitment, and pledge our support for a much anticipated successful Conference.”

On Friday the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres issued a statement on the report by the United nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (U.N.F.C.C.C) stating that the report on the Nationally Determined Contributions (N.D.C) of all Parties to the Paris Agreement shows that the world is on a catastrophic pathway to 2.7-degrees of heating.

“This is breaking the promise made six years ago to pursue the 1.5-degree Celsius goal of the Paris Agreement. Failure to meet this goal will be measured in the massive loss of lives and livelihoods,” Mr. Guterres said.

“Science tells that we need a 45 per cent cut in emissions by 2030 to reach carbon neutrality by mid-century. Today’s report implies an increase of 16 per cent in emissions in 2030 compared to 2010 levels.”

He had made reference to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C) which he said was a code red for humanity.

“But it also made clear that it is not too late to meet the Paris Agreement 1.5-degree target. We have the tools to achieve this target. But we are rapidly running out of time,” he said.

“G20 nations account for 80 per cent of global emissions. Their leadership is needed more than ever. The decisions they take now will determine whether the promise made at Paris is kept or broken.

“Before COP 26 all nations should submit a more ambitious NDC that help to place the world on a 1.5-degree pathway. 

"We also need developed nations to finally deliver on the US$100 billion commitment promised over a decade ago in support to developing countries. 

"The Climate Finance report published today by the OECD shows that this goal has not been reached either.”

He said that all donors and MDBs need to commit to provide at least 50 per cent of their public climate finance towards supporting vulnerable developing to build resilience to worsening climate impacts.

Bg pattern light

UPGRADE TO PREMIUM

Subscribe to Samoa Observer Online

Enjoy access to over a thousand articles per month, on any device as well as feature-length investigative articles.

Ready to signup?