The Chair of the Pacific Islands Forum, His Excellency Peter Christian, President of the Federated States of Micronesia, has praised the political will of those countries who prioritised their ratification of the Paris Agreement, which has enabled its ‘early’ entry into force, before the end of 2016.
“The Pacific called for a rapid response from the world to address the issues stemming from climate change, and we are very happy to see these first important steps being completed. While there is still a lot of work to be done, to see the global community rise to this challenge in this way gives us great hope.”
The Forum Chair was speaking following the announcement last week that the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has enough global support for it to enter into force from November 4, 2016.
President Christian said that from here the next steps were to ensure that the first meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement and the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) in Marrakech in November, produces increased commitment for climate change action and resilience.
“Of particular urgency is limiting the global average temperature increase to less than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels and simplified access to scaled-up finance. The temperature goal is critical to safeguard the wellbeing and existence of the most vulnerable people in the Pacific. This is something the Forum is pushing very hard for because together the current, intended nationally determined contributions still fall considerably short of even reaching the ‘well below 2 degrees goal’ that was agreed to in Paris.”
President Christian also highlighted the opportunity of the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol which takes place in Kigali, Rwanda this week, to take further action to combat rising temperatures.
“The decision of Forum Leaders was to encourage all Parties on to adopt an ambitious amendment to the Montreal Protocol to ensure an early freeze date for hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) production and consumption, followed by a rapid phasing down in the global use of HCFs. HCFs are potent and the fastest growing greenhouse gases in the world today. If we can get agreement to phase down their usage, then it’s possible we could prevent warming by up to 0.5 degree Celsius, by the year 2100.”