Region needs urgent support against climate change

By Marc Membrere 01 March 2022, 2:00PM

The Pacific islands region urgently needs resources for climate change mitigation and adaptation, says the Pacific Islands Forum Acting Secretary-General Dr. Filimon Manoni.

Dr. Manoni made the remarks during the Road to COP27 event which was held virtually and in-person across the Pacific region and was attended by regional leaders, CROP representatives, non-government organisations as well as the COP26 President Alok Sharma.

He said that COP 26 left him in no doubt that the world is coming to grips with the impending climate catastrophe, that the science is real, and that limiting global temperature to 1.5 degrees remains humanity’s best hope.

"But we fell short on delivering the much-needed action to address the climate code red. We are not yet on track to meet the 1.5 degrees target," he said.

"We did not secure the promised $100 billion per year. Pacific Island countries and others on the frontline of climate change urgently need these resources for mitigation and adaptation."

COP27 is set to be held in Egypt later this year and Dr. Filimon said that it will be the first COP to track the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. 

"We remain optimistic, we will work harder, we will raise our voices towards the big emitters and developed countries and strengthen our partnerships across all sectors," he said.

"We must, because there is only one imperative before all of us today. It is to resolve the climate crisis."

He had then called for the support of the region's development partners to make a pledge towards the Pacific Resilience Facilityd endorsed by Leaders in 2019. 

"The P.R.F. is a beacon of hope for our Pacific people. It is a solid and collective promise to our people that we are fiercely committed to strengthening the resilience of communities across the Blue Pacific," he said.

"The race to net zero 2050 began with the Paris Agreement in 2015, and the starting lineup in 2020. We know this is a race where dropping to the sidelines is not an option. For our one Blue Pacific to win, we all must cross the finish line together– as one Blue Planet."

Prime Minister of Samoa and Chair of the Pacific Small Island Developing States (P.S.I.D.S.) Fiame Naomi Mataafa said at the event on Wednesday that the Pacific is preparing for COP27.

"The Pacific has begun it works towards COP27, the Pacific Voyage Plan that guides our preparations is being finalised for operationalisation," she said on Wednesday.

"Our negotiating priorities remain consistent and our positions united an steadfast in a hope  for a 1.5 degree world.

"I would like to share some key messages from the PSIDS COP26 meeting last week. The PSIDS would like to see how the imperatives from Glasgow deliver on their mandates and to this end we would welcome regular updates on the commitments made in Glasgow on finance including for adaptation.

"I would like to hear what plans their are for advancing the dialogue on loss and damage. we would like to see a continued ongoing dialogue and  relationship with the UK COP26 Presidency which has proven to be very successful for the P.S.I.D.S."

In August 2021, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (I.P.C.C.) had found that within the next two decades, global temperatures are likely to rise by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, the report finds. Such a rise would bring about widespread environmental destruction and extreme weather.

But the report finds there is a slim chance that the world could stop temperatures rising above 1.5 degrees Celsius that must be immediately grasped, suggesting the world is at a tipping point on climate disaster. 

The report found that In the western Pacific, sea levels rose faster than anywhere else in the world between 1993 and 2015.

By 2100, the effect on Pacific communities will be disastrous, the report says. What are now once-a-century flooding events will become annual or more frequently if we continue on our current climate path. 

By Marc Membrere 01 March 2022, 2:00PM
Samoa Observer

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