REMARKS: SG Puna statement on WMO State of Climate Update 2022

STATEMENT

PIF SG HENRY PUNA

on WMO STATE OF CLIMATE 2022 UPDATE REPORT

14th May 2022–The latest findings from the State of Climate report from the WMO are sobering, but not surprising.

The State of Climate report predicts with 93 percent certainty that we will experience the world’s warmest year by 2026 which will have catastrophic consequences for biodiversity, for life on this planet and for humanity. We now have only a 50:50 chance of the annual average global temperature temporarily reaching the 1.5 °C threshold for at least one of the next five years. This places our Ocean ecosystems under extreme stress.

1.5°C indicates the level at which we stay alive. Beyond that, climate impacts will become increasingly harmful for people, and for the planet we all share.

As the Forum Secretary General and Pacific Ocean Commissioner, as a former Pacific Forum Leader, as a father, grandfather, and husband, I urge those who can take urgent, effective climate action, to find the moral strength to do so before the window closes forever.

The present track towards and beyond 1.5°C is confirmation that we must hold the world’s biggest emitters to account for their actions. At the same time, we must also build our resilience against disasters which will continue to hit our people and our societies hard in the coming years.

Our children, our families, and those generations yet to be born must be in no doubt that we did all we could to prevent the unfolding existential and natural impacts of pushing the dial past 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels of global warming.

Our Pacific Island nations are not responsible for the climate crisis but in a cruel irony are the most vulnerable nations in the world bearing the brunt of the crisis.

We call on the global community to help undo the injustice of this climate crisis. Ensure climate adaptation and mitigation finance is channeled to Small Island Developing States who are the most disproportionately affected by this global reality.

Don’t just talk. Act. Support our priorities and homegrown efforts to prepare ourselves and our communities for the increasing intensity of climatic action, including our own Pacific Resilience Facility.

Follow through and scale up on nationally determined contributions clearly showing national pathways to a global net zero carbon future by 2050.

Our Leaders have called on major emitters to take the steps necessary and begin urgent action, now, and we remain determined to keep up the call for stronger, decisive action from all nations to ensure the global promise from COP21, and the most recent commitments from COP26 in Glasgow, are met.

I plea to all those who can, please do the right thing. We have already lost 50% of the opportunity to save our planet. We are asking for ambitious, urgent climate change action to turn the tide before it is too late.

We must achieve net zero carbon futures by 2050. It is the only option for the future of our world –ENDS

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