Statement from the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat
Delivered to the High-Level Segment of COP 24
Wednesday, 12 December 2018
President of the COP,
In September, Pacific Islands Forum Leaders issued a new regional security declaration in Nauru – the Boe Declaration embraces an expanded concept of security and foremost recognises that climate change remains the single greatest threat, to the livelihoods, security and wellbeing of the Peoples of the Pacific.
The IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees validates that raising ambition and seeking action is necessary and needed now and that the difference between 1.5 and 2 degrees of average global warming above pre-industrial levels is significant – especially so, for all Pacific island countries; where our vulnerability and fragility to extreme climate-related weather events can mean disaster as decades of development gains can be blown or washed away in a few hours.
It will require increasing levels of support, concerted improved disaster risk reduction and response measures and actions, and financing that is primarily grant based, coherent, accessible, and delivered through strengthened national systems – to build our resilience.
I also want to emphasise the critical role played by the world’s Oceans in regulating the Climate, as well as the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, and consequent climate change effects and impacts. We use the narrative of the Blue Pacific to reflect the shared stewardship of our oceanic continent. By not safeguarding the oceans we all risk irrevocable changes in the global climate and to the lives of the peoples of the Blue Pacific Continent and to our Blue Planet.
At this COP – Parties must continue to work to ensure that the Paris Agreement becomes a living document of higher ambition. It is a duty of all Parties to ensure the Implementation Guidelines are adopted and the ‘Talanoa’ Dialogue process recognises the findings of the IPCC Special Report on 1.5 degrees of global warming.
Mr President, we cannot delay: Pacific lives, Pacific cultures, Pacific futures, matter.