Climate change still our existential threat- DSG Manoni opening remarks to Japan Joint Crediting Mechanism workshop

The following remarks were delivered virtually by PIF Deputy Secretary General Dr Filimon Manoni’ at the Japan Workshop for the Joint Crediting Mechanism, on Wednesday 22 September 2021

 

Mr. Hiroshi Ono, Director General, Global Environment Bureau, Japanese Ministry of Environment;

Government officials of Forum Member countries;

Senior Officials of the Government of Japan;

Representatives of CROP agencies, the private sector, and distinguished participants;

Ladies and gentlemen

Good afternoon and thank you very much for this opportunity to address you today on behalf of Secretary General Henry Puna.

Despite the world’s attention on the COVID-19 pandemic, for us in the Pacific, climate change remains the ‘single greatest threat facing our region’ as reaffirmed by Pacific Islands Forum Leaders in their Communique last month.

Indeed, climate change is an existential threat for many Pacific Island Countries and on the current trajectory, our coral reefs would be decimated and many of our low-lying atoll islands would be uninhabitable within our lifetime. This is not the future we want for our children. And this scenario makes this decade so vital to act now and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

My firm belief is that true and meaningful climate action can only be achieved if we all play our part; if we work together with our development partners, and if we engage in opportunities available to us.

On this juncture, let me commend the Government of Japan for following through to implement one of the key priorities in the Joint Action Plan endorsed at the ninth Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting (PALM9) between Japan and the Pacific held virtually on July 2, 2021.

The agreed action was for Japan to organise workshops to provide information on the Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM) so that the PALM Partners can further explore the possibility of JCM utilisation to introduce advanced decarbonisation technologies to Pacific Island Countries.

Our perspective on the Joint Crediting Mechanism is that it’s an innovative approach for resilience financing and technologies for Pacific Island Countries to decarbonise their economies in line with the collective ambition to achieve net zero carbon by 2050. It’s also a model bilateral scheme related to the Markets Mechanism under Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which must be concluded at COP26 in November in order to finalise the Paris Rulebook.

While the approach of carbon off-setting is important, our Leaders call to all developed countries and major emitters is to ensure this does not substitute the necessary climate policies and actions at the domestic level to reduce carbon emissions in line with a net zero pathway by 2050. In addition, there should be no double counting of financing provided through such arrangements with the committed 100 billion climate finance goal.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am aware that the Joint Crediting Mechanism has been in operation for the past 6 to 7 years in 17 developing countries. In the Pacific, the only country that has utilised this initiative is the Republic of Palau. This raises the question – why haven’t other Pacific Island Countries capitalised on the Joint Crediting Mechanism? Is it because of lack of awareness or the conditions attached to the mechanism?

As you deliberate in this workshop, these are pertinent questions to keep in mind and I hope at the end of the meeting we all will have improved understanding of the mechanism and identify a workable solution commensurate with the unique context of Pacific Small Island Developing States.

Our Leaders have made it clear that their preference is for approaches that promote national ownership, utilises existing country systems, and comes with less stringent access procedures. These are core elements underpinning the development of our Blue Pacific 2050 Strategy, the recently endorsed Declaration on preserving maritime zones in the face of climate-related sea level rise and the 2019 Kainaki Lua Declaration.

In closing, for us in the Pacific climate change is not a debate, it’s a matter of survival. Time is of essence. We can only meaningfully respond if we work together as a region, learn from each other, and capitalise on the support made available by our development partners to implement climate action now – beyond and above mere commitments. To our partners, we need genuine partnerships in our region – and together we can leave a positive climate legacy for our future generations.

I thank you.–ENDS

 

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